The Day My Brother was Immortalized on a Piece of Oversized Canvas


(a poem influenced by Philip Levine)

In that moment, my brother was beautiful:
it was after visiting hours,
nurses unaware of the car parked
two hours too late, and
his pale fingers nearly blended
into the bed sheets.
Only the fingernails were visible,
a sickly yellow,
dirt under the nails
from planting flowers.
I focused on these and
ignored his lazing eyes that
reminded me of fall leaves,
the autistic mouth,
the comma of hair falling
over his forehead.
These are the moments
that stay with me,
only days after sickness arrived,
only days away from the word
sickness being forbidden
by my brother. When I remember
these things, these moments of color,
I try to remember more and
can only think of the sky and
its obsession with falling.
Bodies become a black mass
until all that is left is darkness,
so many falling insects,
the supernovas,
the falling stars.
The moment when the body
falls and the Pollack-nature
of man to sidewalk begins.
The moment of fall-leaf eyes closing,
drifting somewhere towards sleep,
sometimes towards falling,
sometimes where sickness waits,
sometimes where there is
red and black to canvas, like birds
that never stop turning.


About mckenzielynntozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives and writes in Indiana, where she works as a virtual assistant, editor, and freelance writer via her self-started business, MLT Creative. She 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 Poetry Editor for Third Coast. She previously completed her B.S. in Secondary English Education and B.A. in English, with a Concentration in Writing, at Indiana University South Bend, where she worked as the Managing Editor for 42 Miles Press. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Encore Magazine, Thank You for Swallowing, The Spooklet, Sleet Magazine, and Analecta, among others; and her book reviews and essays have appeared on The Rumpus and Motherly. When not writing, she enjoys art and music, and the simple mathematics of being a wife of one, a mama of two, and a cat-mom of three. For more, visit View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: