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Victoria Melekian

MelikianVictoria Melekian lives in Carlsbad, California. Her poems and stories have been published in Monkeybicycle, Mudfish, Literary Orphans, Atlanta Review, Valparaiso Fiction Review, Word Riot, and other anthologies. She was a runner-up in the 2018 Bath Flash Fiction Novella-in-Flash Award, a runner-up in the Women on Writing Summer 2019 Flash Fiction Contest, and her story “What I Don’t Tell Him” aired on NPR. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has twice won a San Diego Book award.

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Quite Likely a Cerebellar Astrocytoma

the neurosurgeon says, looking at the MRI,
and I think of glowing stars and celestial

bodies, but this is a nine-syllable tumor
embedded in my son’s brain. He explains

the stages, slow growing and high grade,
surgery and possible losses: speech,

vision, balance—he calls them deficits,
a word that feels like a plastic glove.

He gives percentages: fifteen, twenty-five,
forty—numbers floating in the air. I want

that moment a week ago standing
in my sunny yellow kitchen holding

the last two slices of whole wheat bread,
just enough to make a grilled cheese

sandwich, half for me, half for my boy,
simple math I understood.
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