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 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 www.mckenzielynntozan.com. View all posts by mckenzielynntozan

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