March 19, 2024

Earth’s Crust
Poetry by Yagmur Akyurek

On the train 

to the plane

all I 

could think 

about was concrete. 

I like 

the way they turn 

 when they’re still 

  in the trucks. For 


to constantly be moving or risk 

 separation…      My grandfather, 

after some years, became 

a concrete 


  Working, turning 

the cone, so 


 buildings could be built, 

so my mother could run 

away from her grandfather at the beach. 

    He used to put 

ointment on in public. I used to live 

 on the 14th floor, tending 

to my ways 

and special         laziness. 

An afternoon 

to sink, my roommate   

   and her special 


After the earthquake, 

I slept with my passport under my pillow. 

     Smearing.      On our walls were two small cracks, 

through which I could see a 

graying snow, 

  a precipitation of noise. 

Nothing, really. 

We were lucky.

Sometimes, we left. 

    The floor would shake in shock. 

My roommate always felt 

it first. 

See the neighbors huddling 

outside, the pipes sticking 

out from the walls.

  Construction became a thing

      to hold. Pliant.

 The waiting became miraculous, 

or its total opposite. 

There must be a builder of 

   hope, and a knock, too. In 

  Azerbaijan, there is a museum 

dedicated to the architect and oil 

baron Musa Naghiyev, 

who had a 

   goal of building 100 

buildings in Baku, 

and died after the 99th. In my sleep, I used to turn 


    turn, fold over 

memories like splashing 

oil in the pan, beans 


and warm. Oozing. Now I lie 


 completely still. 

Skin drying. 

Preternatural. S


Yagmur Akyurek was born in Turkey, raised in Massachusetts, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is pursuing an M.F.A. in creative writing (poetry) at New York University, where she is a Rona Jaffe Fellow.