“Yellow Dream” by Shaqayeq Ahmadian

Why Fred Sandback Makes Me Cry

“It is an art of objects without any shadows.”

  • Andrea Fraser, “Why Fred Sandback Makes Me Cry”


In a room that doesn’t

cast, cast me.

I have been new

to art; perhaps

I am gentle.

This is my first

mouth. This is

also my first

claim. The room

has been built

like a friend

without you.

Little long and

taut, there’s

so much

to suggest:

clean space,



I wanted to cry

and did not—

no host for​​ 

the heavy.

Just standing in​​ 

this world​​ 

is a reciprocation.​​ 




Motivational Poster


Dream big, they have said.​​ 

Like fuss astronauts.

I’ve already been

to the starry night

and back—the moon?

She had a thumb.

The sky’s diamond?

Alone, I left it alone.

I cannot convey to you

purpose, as I felt it

then, forgetting about

my laundry, even

my most hungry

failures, and wanting

to recover my size,

my smallness, just

to say some simple,​​ 

helpful thing.

The keys are

on the table, or

you look so dignified

in purple.​​ 

I love the word

“strewn” and

I’ll use it now

when you ask,

as you always do,

where everything was.




Manic Pixie Nightmare


I have an unfeeling—

it starts with a man

in the bright no more,

having ideas for wallpaper:

stripes,​​ he says, and ships,

modern love in the kitchen

of his tapping foot.

He is mildly to severely​​ 

impressed: I have known

stripes and ships.

I can name the things

I’ve seen. Water and

people, swimmers

and pleasure.

There are, truly, bodies

outside the house.

I’ve never felt

this way before, he says

when I mention

a goose egg wall.

It was almost like

going outside.

You’ve taught me

so much, he says,

and now I can ride​​ 

my bike endlessly

into no surprise.

I return to things

I’ve seen and count them—

I am, of course,​​ 

in the credits,

my room the wrong

shade of yellow,

drooping towards me

in admiration.​​ 

Jen Frantz currently works at a library in Ohio. Her poems have been published in PreludeSporklet, and Afternoon Visitor, and are forthcoming in Washington Square Review. She will be attending the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the fall. 

Shaqayeq Ahmadian is an Iranian artist who lives and works in Tehran. Her practice is concerned with the fundamental interplay between objects, figures, media and dimensions. Grinning at the world and its complexities, this young artist refuses to adhere to the norms of society and crafts her own path while defying all limitations.

Read our interview with Shaqayeq Ahmadian here: https://www.bkreview.org/nonfiction/an-interview-shaqayeq-ahmadian-on-the-continuum-of-life/