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 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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