Before I Turned Away, the Evidence was Exposed.

The raccoon would not be moved easily, then,
its skin too far gone, all fish and sinew, pinned

behind the farthest bunker on the field. Children
turned around the animal like meat grinders, their faces

red with snow, their hearts beating, rotating
with the orbit, drunk on the animal’s daze and hiss.

Gray eyes, gray foam, gray paws—
all covered with the decay of snow.

I watched you and the gun,
the blade and the metal. Your eyes

shrank to the size of pupils
until it seemed the earth had fired, until

the animal had become something less.
Melted snow. The smaller bodies drifted out

to the edge of the field like stars, ready
to become red, too, in their supernova, in the animal’s

quick loss of matter. Your eyes and shoulders returned
like reproducing particles.

And then the earth returned:
beneath the red, a line of grass

was exposed.


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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