Ode to my Husband By Alissa Nalewajko

Ode to my Husband

My husband takes me to the
arboretum on Sundays. I squeeze
ethyl acetate onto a bed of plaster in
the bottom of a jar labeled “POISON”
and we spend the next three hours
chasing twin cobalt dragonflies. At
home, he pins the wings at the kitchen

My husband scales limestone – a
spider-limbed daddy long leg on the
wall in demi plié. I get bored
watching, run miles down the hill and
hike them back. We drive to town for
lunch and sit by the water. He licks
the salt from my forehead with a wet

My husband wears my bras to parties –
tobacco brown, bruise purple – and
lets the lace show on each shoulder
where his jacket slips. We smoke out
the car window. He takes me home
and fucks me – wraps mandible
around throat, burrows between each

My husband paints his nails, won’t let
me do it for him. Calls wearing my
clothing. Pierces his right nostril and
wears the dried blood. My husband,
the entomologist, teaches locusts and
wasps at the university. Fathers three
children and does it right: mountain
way, soil-up.

My husband jokes about
cannibalizing the teller at the bank.
Takes the vacuum cleaner apart and
puts it back together. Lets the yard
grow wild so the bees swarm in
summer. Sometimes, I lose him in the
tall grass. He has room in his jaw for
wisdom teeth. I shave his mole in the
shower, clip a skin tag.

My husband marries me after six
years of dating. He wears
mountaineer’s glasses to the
ceremony, turns his eyes into mirrors.
We marry. We honeymoon. He eats
near-raw steak each night of the trip
and skims me the cognac sauce. We
bite at one another. It’s funny: the day
we met, he ate a spider out of my

By Alissa Nalewajko


Alissa Nalewajko is a student at Princeton University studying creative writing. She’s from Boise, Idaho and loves to explore themes of persona and surrealism through her work. She has been previously published in Zeniada magazine.

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