The First Way to Foster Children

I remember
how your hands were

filled like small


their legs,


days filled with poems –


like the one where you find
one of your manuscripts

in the garbage –
you look underneath a box of Krispy Kreme

and there is a stack of your poems –

in the order you had placed them,
followed by a section break

you entitled “Seagulls.”

A few corners bent
under the weight of coffee grounds

rather than a reader’s


I wanted to take
your heart
of diamonds

and fill it
until it was clearer,

like blood,
resembling something
we all

could touch.


I remember the summer when
the inflatable mattress


like pregnancy
and air.

Broken tent springs.

She watched you
over the fire,

her hair
almost blue,

evening flame
hanging over her neck.

Your eyes never met hers,

your pupils, small monsoons
of summer shade.

These are the secrets your hands were filled with.


About mckenzielynntozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives and writes in Indiana, where she works as a virtual assistant, editor, and freelance writer via her self-started business, MLT Creative. She received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University, where she worked as the Layout and Design Editor for New Issues Poetry and Prose and as an Assistant Poetry Editor for Third Coast. She previously completed her B.S. in Secondary English Education and B.A. in English, with a Concentration in Writing, at Indiana University South Bend, where she worked as the Managing Editor for 42 Miles Press. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Encore Magazine, Thank You for Swallowing, The Spooklet, Sleet Magazine, and Analecta, among others; and her book reviews and essays have appeared on The Rumpus and Motherly. When not writing, she enjoys art and music, and the simple mathematics of being a wife of one, a mama of two, and a cat-mom of three. For more, visit View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

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