Illustration by Pedro Gomes

I have brought the wrong kind of sandwiches
and yes, I know this poem is supposed to bring us there
by river or through a series of ivory clouds,
my grandfather on a bench surrounded by lilies.
But I have brought a turkey sandwich
mustard, tomato slices, lettuce,
when I should have brought bologna,
thick cut, wonder bread,
wrapped in a saved paper towel.
One that has been cared for,
used to dry hands, tea spills,
something that holds memory.
The sandwich isn’t even important,
it is the paper towel that will live forever
my grandfather surrounded by new rolls —
that he would never
dream to open them.

Luisa Muradyan

Luisa Muradyan is originally from Ukraine and is the author of American Radiance (University of Nebraska Press) which won the 2017 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. She is a member of the Cheburashka Collective and additional work can be found at Best American Poetry, The Threepenny Review, Ploughshares, and Colorado Review among others.