When I was young, I gazed at a tree
and knew if I didn’t start climbing,

I’d never get another chance. My smaller body
was in a red and black dress, white tights

that snagged on the branches. By the time
the adults took notice, my feet

were above their heads, the reaching
fingers. In my mind, that moment is

a woman slipping through

a pinhole—tomorrow when she wakes up,
the world is gone. Something will be missing.

In one of my dreams, a high school teacher
approaches me and says, here, write this down,

write this down, only so much wind can
arrive through a pinhole
. A pause, and I said, right,

only so many birds can survive
in a young girl’s Sunday dress



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

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