One night, my husband’s sitting
on the edge of the bed, sobbing into his hands.
Says he found Jesus.
He’s going to be saved.
A week later—he’s packed up and left.
Goes to Wednesday night prayer meetings.
Rest of his time he’s with Darcy,
the waitress down at the Rolling O.
Said I could stay in the house. Nice place,
up on a hill. He shows up drunk
every few weeks demanding what’s his, then
gone in the morning after a plate of bacon and eggs.
Daughter doesn’t call but once or twice a year.
She moved cross-country with her boyfriend
and kids. Invited me, too, but I don’t want to babysit
rest of my life. Son never did come back.
I always left the porch light on.
Drove the husband nuts. “What for,” he’d say.
He could have just let me be.
I’m thinking about moving on, some small town
with tree-lined streets and wide green lawns
between neighbors. Work at a market, maybe,
ringing up groceries. The dull ache in the back,
how good it will feel to sit down at the end of a day.
Victoria Melekian lives in Carlsbad, California. Her stories and poems have been published in Mudfish, Literary Orphans, Atlanta Review, Valparaiso Fiction Review, Word Riot, and other anthologies. She’s been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was a runner-up in the 2018 Bath Flash Fiction Novella-in-Flash Award. Her story “What I Don’t Tell Him” aired on NPR. She’s twice won a San Diego Book Award. For more, visit http://www.victoriamelekian.com.