When the Leaf Lifts, It Falls and Leaves Behind a Fossil of Water.

At first, there is nothing
but the sound of
breaking branches—

until there is an engine,
a dusty hearse, a line
turning the corner,

car after car, the police leading the way
onto the Raccoon Lake [main exit],
all accompanied by a flag, all too like

a man burning a tree
for the sake
of insects,

before it is too late—
before he burns too deep and
their faces become something like

a cemetery of lakes, passing
waves of buffalo on a
solitary farm.

The green and brown of
grass to fur, of moss to
lake and sand. They release

their flags in a line
over the water; they release their skin,
as if it were a way

of communicating through
tree frogs, the purr left over
on the water, the low hum

hanging on burning trees.


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 www.mckenzielynntozan.com. View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

One response to “When the Leaf Lifts, It Falls and Leaves Behind a Fossil of Water.

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