People always ask me, Hazel, how did you meet your husband? I found him in a can of Spam. He was pretty as a painted teacup, brushing black curls out of his eyes. He unfurled from his jelly ham bed and held his hand out for me to shake, his touch the weight of a snowflake. By the time he stepped from the edge of the tin and into my palm, I was done for.
People always ask me, Hazel, how does a regular woman conduct marital relations with such a curio? All you have to know is he called me his mountains and valleys. My Everest, he would say into my skin. My Grand Canyon. My Vastness. With appetite he traced each freckle, nerve, and vein. He mapped me out. He traversed my expanse and wanted me anyway.
People always ask me, Hazel, didn’t you think about children? Oh, our magic beans. Too big for him to hold, too small for me not to crush with a single brush of my finger. We learned early about children.
People always ask me, Hazel, did you see it coming? It’s easy to look backward and cobble together the mosaic of how things went wrong. This quiver in his lip, that flutter of lashes around rolling eyes. This snide tone, that put-upon sigh. Nights spent separately: I in our sumptuous feather bed, he nestled in his beat-up empty can in the pantry, curl of tin pulled taut over the top. The truth is I was cleaved from my senses when he packed up his tic tac suitcase, cleared out his matchbox dresser. What else could I do but seize him where he stood?
What could any woman in love do but swallow him whole?
Jasmine Sawers is a Kundiman fellow whose fiction appears in such journals as Ploughshares, AAWW’s The Margins, SmokeLong Quarterly, and more. Sawers serves as Associate Fiction Editor for Fairy Tale Review and debuts a collection through Rose Metal Press in 2022. Originally from Buffalo, Sawers now lives and pets dogs outside St. Louis.