The Poetry Project


Emmanuel Iduma

Awake or in a dream, faces and images and gestures from my travels return to me in great detail. Sometimes it is the wind, sputtering against the window of the car I am in. Or an underfed dog, rummaging through rubbish for a glinting bone. Or a boat unmanned in the middle of a river, seen from afar.

I began to exchange emails with a relative who requested anonymity. My first email was a list of all the towns I had slept in during my travels, at least for a night. Towns in which I turned in my sleep unsure of where I was, whether I was bathed in sweat or in tears, or if I lay beside a lover or a travel companion. I hoped, I wrote, that the cities appeared untethered to their countries— an atlas of a borderless world.

In the first response I received, I was urged to recount stories of strange sightings, emotions, and encounters, remembered or imagined.

Take me with you on your journeys, my relative replied. Let me go in your place.

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