Day 2: You drive my insides…out.

The taste of chocolate is on my tongue, thick and snaking over the layers of my mouth, exposure. The slight breath of mint, and the thickness returns.

It wasn’t the usual knock-on-the-door morning; she crossed the lawns, the stone-patch fence and walked slowly up his driveway and waited on his porch. The knock was tentative, on a different door. Shuffling, waiting.

The door opened to a thin man of medium height, light brown hair ruffled, blue eyes squinting.

It was strange how she could look into his life at that moment, four pictures tucked away in a poetry collection from 2002. The wind chimes were quiet. Apparently he loved dogs.

“Would you like some tea,” he said. Turned his back to the open door. She followed him, picked up an orange polydactyl. For the most part, it was another day. She picked out the tea pot covered in black swans.

“I’m sorry about your brother.” The voice was a detachment on the walls.

She turned the lights down in the living room and opened the high window blinds. A curtain of white sunshine fell into the room. High-glossed binding blurred on the book shelf; she turned her attention to trying to read titles—

her fingers were small against the books,

almost as small as his had been.

“Me too,” she said, without memory.


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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