's interface is pretty odd in that it outputs something different than it takes in by default. (Maybe it could be even a little more simple - and more Perlish...?) But there's an option:
ForceArray => 1 *# in - important*
This option should be set to '1' to force nested elements to be
represented as arrays even when there is only one.
...that you can use like so:
my $xml = XMLin(join('',<DATA>),ForceArray => 1);
...I think that it outputs something very similar to what you're looking for...
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