Victoria 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.
For more, visit http://victoriamelekian.com.
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.