Two Poems || Aishat Yahkub



Credit: Unglue You

Two Poems 

by Aishat Yahkub

We Are all Little Hungry Rivers

In this ritual you,

Lift your trembling hands to cup your ringing ears 

Listen to the incessant heartbeat 

Of the ocean's ancient song


If everything came from the water

And water is molten hunger, relentlessly seeking, engulfing    

then maybe

You inherited this

Insatiate, yawning want  

From the root of the river that flows 

through you, 

That you named home.

Go down to the river, greet its restless face drenched in sunlight

Marvel at how your veins pour prayer, breathe

into each other

How you have to be emptied, 

to be poured into. Dream 

you revert to water

Feel your body melt, droop

fluttering flesh 

tear away, open to the mouth of water

And sense the water open in welcome, ripple into you—

Consume and be consumed

Give yourself over, 

Let it carry you, claim you

whole. Undammed 

so you do not know of stillness;

To be still is to sink.

Wash onto abandoned shores

Kiss their virgin sands, 

stretch and reach and fill all things emptiness.

Here, drowning becomes floating becomes flowing

And you grow endless,


Pouring, emptying, hungering…

The Travellers

The road awakens and beckons 

eagerly, swallows you whole

Into its serpentine belly

The watery night it's complicit body

Its torment unites 

your flesh, contorts to hold madness.

The road reveals it's strangeness, unleashes its secrets

How it eats up time into dust

So your past and future 

all are lost in its mud

Give yourselves over, submit

let the road carry you, lead you

Breathe, allow yourselves be devastated

by it. Let the road pass

through you. Let it

Take from you

You'll still make the journey, battered.

The road is a gaping, festering wound that scars, pouring

into bodies, possesses

until it absorbs you and 


become a manifestation of its hunger.

How it kneads and molds unto paths that take 

and take from you.

You who dared to enter its mouth 

Will not make it out whole

Or sane. 

Bereaved, your mourning will be beautiful.

There's too much savagery on this path 

towards light, towards home.

The road is not your friend

It ages,

breaks you; so a boy 

Comes out a man, half-formed.

The road is made of noise and smoke and 

so much thirst

A country unravels at the wild teeth of its road

Language weaves through 

Like a wet, writhing tongue

Let there be chaos.

The road is endless and everything will be left 

abandoned, silenced.

A hardened river,

The road is a grave for anything that does not yield

to be transported blind through its body.

The road lines stories in its belly

And its storytellers? 

All are lost.

Aishat Yahkub is a young Nigerian creative, writer, poet, bookworm, art lover and overwhelmed medical student. Her poems have been published or forthcoming in Brittle paper, Agbowó, Visual Verse, Nightshade Lit and Juste Literary. Her works broadly explore the fluidity of identity, language and the portrayal of "home", through her cast of outcasts. When she's not reverentially appreciating exquisite poetry and art, she practices stillness and escapes into dreams. She's overcoming her mild social (media) anxiety by tweeting @AishatYahkub.


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