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 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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