Luisa Muradyan



You are floating in space

and not in that Sandra Bullock

and George Clooney looking

galactically sexy way

but in that my grandmother

disappeared when I was a child

and I pretended she was

abducted by aliens way


Imagine that science experiment

you did in seventh grade

when the teacher kept adding

pennies into a glass of water

and no matter how much grief

you poured into your body

the surface wouldn’t break.


Imagine your grandmother waits for you

in the field of the dead.

You are wearing your purple

dress, she is wearing her purple dress,

the field is wearing its lavender dress.


Imagine being sad only some of the time.

In the spaceship when they took her

they did not call her Jew,

only human

and that fantasy brings you comfort.


Luisa Muradyan is originally from the Ukraine and received her PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston. She is the author of American Radiance (University of Nebraska Press), which won the 2017 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. She was the editor-in-chief of Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts from 2016-2018 and the recipient of the 2016 Donald Barthelme Prize in Poetry. She is a member of the Cheburashka Collective, a group of women and nonbinary authors from the former Soviet Union. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Missouri Review, Poetry International, the Threepenny Review, Pleiades, and Jewish Currents, among others.