This is the time, and this is the record of the time.

“This is your captain: We are going down. We are all going down…together.”
from Laurie Anderson’s “From the Air”


In the last few waking hours,
you watch the world through

unblinking eyes.

People become impenetrable
shadows, dark birds,

until everything turns black
on the outside.

There are no tears.

Instead, you remember
a building—draw back the curtain,

and there is a nest
of winter goslings.

You leave the barn door open
until it’s all a hurricane

of feathers and winter snow
inside. Underneath, it is yellow

and maroon and salt.
You wrap the young

in another winter blanket and
put the curtain back in place,

forgetting the old barn light—
flickering, threatening them

with impending


inspired by Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone, on the conditions of Marburg and Ebola on the human immune system.

Find Laurie Anderson’s “From the Air” here.


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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