The National Poetry Review

Katy Luxem

(After Victoria Chang)

My grandma’s yellow blanket—died June 28, 2003
by the side of a road. I had been keeping
it in the back of my car, hatchback opened to grief
only so much after she’d died two months earlier.
Sometimes I’d touch the yarn and envy the knots tied
tight by her hand. I wonder what I was thinking
when the red brake lights in front of me gripped
my reflexes. A man hit a dog. She still
had a “save me” look in her brown eyes. We pulled
over, lined the shoulder like a funeral procession.
Then came the offerings. Water and hands. I unfolded
a last comfort willingly, fleece on the blood
on my street to work. Where was I going before
I was carrying her to an end? This is fitting, I think,
she is gone but warm. And I saw her last breath
under that heavy blanket, the mangled animal
of my love holding her tight.

KATY LUXEM (she/her) grew up in Seattle and studied creative writing at the University of Washington. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s, New Normal, Blood Moon Journal, Free Verse Revolution, The Mum Poem Press Anthology, and others. She lives in Salt Lake City with her partner, kids, and dogs. When not working as an e-commerce editor, she plays competitive roller derby.

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