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‘Passport as freedom papers’ I

(Title after a line from Momtaza Mehri’s poem ‘Mouthwash’).

 

‘A home is only as safe as flesh’ – Dionne Brand

 

You share a border with the Uber driver. That makes you kin —here. His margins
reach over yours and continue running over. You notice how time draws an axis
over your necks. You give the fisherman along this coast another name
because of it. He opens the glove compartment, throws his service papers.
Kismayo, 1973. He recounts entering the city, possibly the women,
but doesn’t confess. You glance to your side and recognise only your reflection.
It’s late in Nairobi and you don’t know the city well enough to confirm
he’s driving you home. You’re wearing this burgundy book, a life jacket.


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

is a poet, producer and educator currently based between Rotterdam and London. She often writes about memory, movement and the cyclical process of leaving. Her poem ‘Before Leaving’ won the FourHubs’ 2018 Poetry Prize. Sumia is a Barbican Young Poet Alumni and most recently published in Filigree: Contemporary Black British Poetry. She is also founder of SAWTI and programme lead (Social Practices) at Willem de Kooning Academy.

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