This is how it happens—he lifts
the dress above your head

and brings it down around
your hands. You become

a peacock, all feathers,

all lace. You breathe
deep, shrinking

your frame as he fastens
the eye-hook, zips up

the dress. Then, the shoes—crows’ feet—

and you are ready.
As you are presented, you realize

this event is on reverse:
the male, in flaming color,

wears black. You, in startling white, hope

to maintain one tradition: the free fall,
like the red-tailed hawk, when

the two of you, at last, meet
at the center of the sky, latch

your talons, and fall.


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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