She Wanted to be an Airplane


Whether it was old wood
or metal, it did not matter: it was the flight

that was important, the escape
and redemption of a sky over the house

where she’d grown up, the shed
where she sometimes hid

in the middle of the night, watching for
raccoons. She found a baby one, once, dead

next to a pair of bushes. She’d held it
close, surprised at the coarseness

of its fur, the skeletal look
of the side of its thin face. The eyes

were blue underneath the lids, too young,
the tongue almost white

behind its teeth. Gently, she put it back
where she’d found it, her hands

locked beneath its small weight, touching
the dew-tipped grass, for only

a moment, but it stayed with her. She knew,
even in flight, that it would, but that she could forget

other things, or at least put them
at the distance of clouds.


written November 15th


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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