Day 1: Winter Winds Come Breaking

And then came more of the usual: “What do you see?”

She wanted me to see a pair of cities, wound within the desert like small hawks, branching shadows, hardened grain under green suns.

I could see the stone, the break, the climb of unnatural rock—and the bodies—the man and woman climbing away from the rooftops, born of them, extending into watercolors.

She replaced the notebook.

I wasn’t supposed to see their faces.


Summers turned to winters turned to cold. His body continued like all the others, somewhat clockwise. Irises appeared to darken with rain, skin to brighten with snow. The blood continued.

She wished she’d kept at least one of the pictures, something resembling a lock of hair, a dimple, a blur of color. The orange against the floor was like a bear, hanging from the ceiling, leaning on the walls—the white of the walls was spotted with small, framed portraits of lost children. What she perceived to be lost was another story.

His knuckles bloomed like cherries, fingers kneading into the cushions, turning his hands and the couch into something like sunrise. His eyes stared at the glass, see-through coffee table.

He’d forgotten her—forgotten the taste of water.

Image/Inspiration: Salvador Dali’s Archaelogical Reminiscence of Millet’s “Angelus” (1935)


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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