There is Nothing but Danger Here.


It has been there all the time, but at some point, the truth makes its way through the trees and the neighbors’ house: they fight all the time. One morning, before all the birds have shifted out of their trees and into the next, he holds an empty box of cigarettes and asks if she needs anything outside. There is a shopping list, she says, bring me back a new heart. Without another word, she sees the brown leather and worn elbows exit and close the door. Hours later, he returns and places a brown bag on the table, dark with what looks to be grease stains. Inside, there are pale organs. For the next several days, she creates explanations: pet store, backyard of an old farm, dog mill. Eventually, the excavation: she wakes as if without a memory, not of this man in the leather coat, not of this house that seems too small on this strange back street. Without a word, she leaves. She searches. Eventually, she comes back to write another shopping list: new brain, new left kidney, only to find with every excavation the house and the man in the leather coat are a little stranger—taller, leaning farther to the left, getting tired. Eventually, she dreams, hoping somewhere inside everything can be undone: the excavation, and then the other, the neighbor, the box of cigarettes, and then somehow, they are. But at some point, she realizes they’ve become a little stranger, too, and at some point, she simply turns out the light, and sleeps: excavation after excavation: green fence beyond green fence.


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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