A Part of “Yellow Dream” (2019) by Shaqayeq Ahmadian

Prosymnus, My Prosymnus 


Like inside a broken mirror,

our image in the river

was more light than reflection, 

ready to be carried away.

I needn’t have asked where

or how, because the clear water

was of all my yesterdays

battered into an exquisite blur.


We submitted ourselves to the thrall

of water, feeling the river open us

and our bodies a different color.

My eyes on your chest, lacquered

red like freckled rust on iron.

A little red embellished my face too, 

not because of the sun.


You waded into the water, like an early star

breaking into the shallow; I was a boat

anchored to gravity yet still drifting.

There was something overwhelmingly

beautiful between us.

But again, we didn’t belong,

Neither you nor I;

The river would refuse us

and we would walk, spent, 

onto the other shore,

having on the skin something close

to a feeling, though fleeting, 


because we could only walk into a river






Different Horizon


Not sure how clear the water is, but the lake

brings to the shore something close

to the luster of a bright November sun.

Tourists have come with cameras hoisted

on the back like a third eye that stares

without knowing. The wind mumbles

a different language, conveying a message

from fellow travelers, though I’ve forgotten

these words, syllables stay like amulets.

Above me, swarms of birds shriek tidings

from a distant ocean. I don’t know them,

even less so I know myself, standing

at the carefully cobbled edge, watching

the waves pushed back and coming again

towards my toes. There’s ease for being

persistent. But I’ve changed, like a dew

concocting all colors of the morning;

I’m not to blame for what changes me.

So I close my eyes, facing the great unknown;

still, something flashes at the fundus—





Aiden Heung is a Chinese queer poet born and raised on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. He writes about his personal past in a Tibetan Autonomous Town and the city of Shanghai where he currently lives. His words appeared or forthcoming in The Australian Poetry Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Poet Lore, Rust & Moth, Hobart, Parentheses, Southern Humanities Review, O:JA&L among many other places. He is a reader of world literature. He can be found on twitter @AidenHeung. Visit his website for more information: http://www.aidenheung.com/

Joy of living is in the corner stone of every single work of Shaqayeq Ahmadian. Her flamboyant, sparkling and animated figures are part of her existence, a passion she readily shares and distributes. Her practice is a fundamental interplay between objects, figures, media and two and three dimensions; stitching together a subjective account of her lived experience, of the life of a female young artist in her homeland that despite all limitations, manages to attract us and hold our attention. Her narrative structures feature the unpleasant and even the grotesque, where everyone is saved by their love for cuddly animals and by life itself, this is an abstract dreamscape. Three dimensional pieces seem to have been extracted from her paintings to accentuate her story. Light bulbs, birthday cakes, loveable animals are all her grimaces at difficulties of life. Grinning at the world and its complexities, this young artist refuses to adhere to the norms of society and crafts her own path. Creating a festive atmosphere that instantly transfers joy of living to others and covers up deep wounds. Her honest approach to life and her art is pure and striking, an attitude that in present state of things is enchanting and exhilarating. It is simply joyful to exist within her realm and to be a witness to her growth and her joie de vivre.

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