Claire Polders is a Dutch author of four novels. Her short prose in English has appeared in Word Riot, Hobart, Flash, Literary Orphans, Minor Literature[s], The Missing Slate, and elsewhere. Currently she’s finishing her first novel in English. She lives in Paris, but you may find her at @clairepolders or

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She loves snails, their soft flavor of slowness. She loves drowning them in olive oil and swallowing them down with raw garlic, a shred of parsley. In between bites she indulges in sourdough bread toasted black. Flutes of chilled Chablis. 

It’s essential to her that the man in her bed does not interfere with her love for snails. One complaint about the crumbs, the garlic stench, the grease on pricey sheets, and he’s out, banned to the sofa until the last snail has made its sluggish way down her throat. 

On the other hand, a man who, despite the size issue, has enough self-confidence to manage a comparison, a hint even, just a meaningful look, well now, that’s a man to keep. Her best lover so far, watched her eat the snails one by one. Enjoyed seeing the rapture on her face each time the soft flesh caressed her palate. Then called down to the lobby for a plate of oysters. 

He slurped and sucked, moaning, putting his tongue right into the shells. 

Snails and oysters, he said. They’re hermaphrodites. It takes them a long time to figure out which role to play.

She smiled and they ate in delight, watching each other’s mouths. With him she generously shared the chilled Chablis. 

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