Then the woman says to the [GIRL], “You’re next” when the script says [THERAPIST].

I stopped turning—stopped turning when all that was left was snow and dead leaves. There was a tear in the black top hat, a dismounted carrot and broken leg. Two dead field daisies, preserved in ice. I listened to the wind breathe by.

I half-expected tumbleweed in the road, past the red mailbox and snow that looked like asphalt.

The rake was thick in my hands.

You told me I was too involved in the details.

So I spun spiders into water, their legs bent and rotating like a clock. Synchronized watches.

Time dribbled by in the mouth of a sink.

I wanted to feel the wind in my hair again, cold snow to turn my fingers blue, hot sand grouped like cities under my fingernails. You asked me to “wait…wait,” as though it were a way of speaking to birds.

You handed me a diary.

The binding was cracked, the cap of the pen broken. You removed my conflict of interest, tore off corners of pages that surely had flowers.

I write September 18, 1942. I write to Death.

You are like a fence post, He the long crooked road.

I am the shadow that chose to ignore you.


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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