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Edition 59


Bitter Eaters


WE ARE SHORT and invisible men. Oriental red. Iron-rail thin. Short for men in Senegal, which is six feet, or six feet three inches or more. Adding up all the years we remembered selling ‘Chinese’ in Dakar, we calculated four feet ten inches. We forget one detail after another, filling out the forms we’re asked to fill out. We’re being returned to Nigeria for holding both Chinese and Nigerian passports, and our police statements state we’re five feet six inches. In Senegal you can’t be sent to another country for trial without a height and a date of birth attached, though in Nigeria such information can be overlooked.

Our hands and feet are oversized and gentle and calloused. Small cloth bags are slung over our shoulders and the clothes on our backs are made of bright Chinese fabric bought in Kaifeng Town years ago. We prefer... Read more

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From Griffith Review Edition 59: Commonwealth Now © Copyright Griffith University & the author.

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