Dionne Brand

Verso 18.3

Why did you visit these sites of terror? I went to visit the world. I went to visit the years of solidarity with the world I was in solidarity with. I had read thousands of newspapers. I had followed the arguments, I had chosen sides. I had lived through, like someone on the other side of a telephone line, all the events, all the events had shaped me though they had not happened to the speaker on the other end of the telephone. I therefore visited to say to the air and the bodies, to the electrical wires—Here I am, I was on the other end of the telephone during all those years. I expected to find exhaustion, since how we live here is to use up those bodies there, give them a constant pounding and reworking and very often kill them. Instead I saw with relief, one million motorcycles in Ho Chi Minh City with two million young people riding them. That is when I sent the postcard to myself.