Furnace

In this story, a woman routinely refuses to pass
her husband the butter dish at the breakfast table.
      When he protests, she asks: Do you want to die   
 
early? They are not yet of a certain age. They have  
young children, who are allowed to have butter 
      spread thickly on their toast, under a carpet
 
of jam. The young might still imagine a future without 
hard arterial creases, without insurance agents’ 
      numbers taped to refrigerator doors.
 
It turns out, he outlives her by more than fifteen years.
When they slip her body into the oven, he imagines lemon-
      colored pools; the molten taste of everything forbidden.

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