The End of Me

I’m not one to go visiting grave sites—
just as well, since Mom and Grandma and Grandpa
opted for cremated remains in niches way up high

near the bug zapper, and poor Dad was scattered
in the desert, which is what he wanted, but it worries me.
He’s all alone out there in the wind and the heat.

I need a plan for myself or I’ll spend eternity
in a cardboard box wedged in my son’s car trunk.
If my husband’s still around he’ll take custody of me,

but he never puts anything away: shoes tucked
under the bed, reading glasses on top of a book.
I’ll end up a small cone of ashes next to a silver urn,

a pile that shrinks with every gust and breeze
until one afternoon the light will hit just right
and he’ll dust me off with his sweater sleeve.

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

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