Psychology & Wine

(I apologize in advance; this poem needs a lot of work.)

Psychology & Wine


At first, when she was nervous, the girl
peeled the skin from the back
of her heels—nibbled her lips,


until they were nothing but pulled
onions, the pale moons surrounded
by red clouds. Lunar landscapes.

Created in silence.


These were the things she did not leave
out in the open. Instead, for you,
there was a sort of scarecrow

mingling with the weeds

alongside the mailbox. Its size
more so related to a doll’s,
the eyes, the lips, all stitches


in too much sunlight, staring
as if telling you there was mail,
as if telling you there wasn’t mail,



Your final solution: the secrets of skin
in a painting. The stars, their age and paling
into duller shades.

Then: the skin of her arms, her neck,

captured on canvas,
trees and blankets, combined.
Her hair turned green, turned blue

with sunlight, the white of her skin
shining like alcohol,
the secrets:

more destitute when shown.


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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