Poets in Motion
Poets in Motion

"Bad Omens"

Original Poem for #VocalNPM

"Bad Omens"
Months ago, I realized my sonwould die, and the certainty left me weakfor days. A pitin the lower-right of my abdomen, like a holewhere all truths must be born.Whenever I have felt such certainty from this place, I have neverbeen wrong. The first time this partof my body awoke, I was eight and awaremy barn cat had died. All morning I searchedthe different air, and I found him mewlingat the bottom of a rusted barrel where he hadhidden himself away. I carried him home, offeredhim water and blankets, only for him to diea few hours later. Several other instances havecome and gone, and I am always right. This timethe truth comes to me in a repeated dream, wherethe beginning is always different. Sometimesmy son appears as the toddler form of the babyI now hold, knowing the world on two wobblylegs. Sometimes he appears as a beautiful, ganglyyoung man with the thinnest veil of hairon his chest, too dark for his pale skin. Then comethe series of causes: leaning in too close, running,a fall, pure drunkenness—and finally, the partthat always comes: the deep, foggy diveinto the pit of a pool, never deep enough to resemblethe pit I now carry like a red-hot appendix. His bodylike a ball in the foggy water and the certaintythat waves high like the moon I wish would fall. I awakeand hold onto my son like it will undo all the thingsI’ve seen. I pray into his neck to go to quieter places—places not quiet with the loss of my little boy,where I leave him flowers and toys and visithis room, surrounded by those I love who are alsocolored with grief. I hide in his warmth, here and now, and praythe rest will be washed away with the bedsheets.
surreal poetry
McKenzie Lynn Tozan
McKenzie Lynn Tozan
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McKenzie Lynn Tozan

A writer and poet in Chicago, McKenzie's poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, The Rumpus, Motherly, Memoir Mixtapes, Medium, and more. www.mckenzielynntozan.com

See all posts by McKenzie Lynn Tozan