The Last Thing He Says Before His Death: “When You Get Home, I’m Sorry.”

The bed was wet
with spilled lilies –

white pouring

into the stem
like sickness.

You didn’t find a man in the rafters.

You didn’t expect a horse – hung

like an ornament

in the barn
next to a water-logged trailer.

What you wanted to see
was a carousel,

filled with dead leaves,
skeletal horses –

brown eyes
like his eyes –

teeth grinning from red lips.

Then the barn
and the tent

the line of ceramic elephants

would make sense

beneath the tree – the pruning body

the sea of cockroaches.


About mckenzielynntozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives and writes in South Bend, Indiana, where she works as the Departmental Secretary of English and World Language Studies at Indiana University South Bend, and remains closely affiliated with 42 Miles Press, New Issues Poetry and Prose, and Wolfson Press. She previously 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 Editor of Poetry for Third Coast. Her poems have appeared in Encore Magazine, Sleet Magazine, Rogue Agent, Thank You for Swallowing, Whale Road Review, The James Franco Review, The Birds We Piled Loosely, and Analecta; and her book reviews have appeared on her website and on The Rumpus. She lives with her husband, their daughter, and three cats. For more, visit View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

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