She prepares herself for wedding night,
first sleep—and now, all there is to remove

is white silk, corpuscle hairs extending
from the small of her legs,

crossing her ankles. She is not ready for this.
She knew she could not wear

the small white dress meant for one day
and one day only. White linen and hem,

pink blush: she takes her time to remove
these things, exposing her breasts, pressed together,

two half-moons, the pink centers.
She shivers as the dress takes its time, drops.

It is in this moment that she wants to become something
else, as if all the white cluttered on the floor

were wings she could pick up and put back on,
get dressed, and open a window somewhere

at the back of the house, let him sleep, and jump.

The Tozan DuckfaceMcKenzie Lynn Tozan lives and writes in South Bend, Indiana, where she teaches composition at Indiana University South Bend. She received her MFA in Poetry from Western Michigan University, where she worked as the Layout and Design Editor at New Issues Poetry and Prose. She specializes in poetry, stories, and book reviews. Her poems have appeared in Encore MagazineSleet MagazineRogue Agent and Analecta, and her book reviews have appeared on The Rumpus. For more, visit her at www.mckenzielynntozan.com.



  1. the mannered subtle satire works well, though the phrase “exposing her breasts,” unlike the rest of the poem, is rather used up language. very hard to figure that out, for sure, but so much of what you’re doing here has that pointing-around this ridiculous concept of “coyness” it’d be worth thinking it over. “all the white cluttered on the floor…” for instance is great.

  2. This is such a great poem. I feel as if feminist writers can truly manipulate poetry to the fullest to express their emotions. Thanks for posting!

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