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Poetry by Michael Allyn Wells

The Face of Mount Rushmore
My Mason Jar
Published March 18, 2016


I spent long hours at the gallery.  
Hours that spanned several days.
I would arrive early, leave late,
politely ushered out by security
making final rounds.

I only really looked at one painting.
I passed others each day coming
and leaving. Their colors blended
into a moving blur in the corner
of my eyes.

But one painting, and one only
held my interest. Maybe it was the hues,
but perhaps it was the lack of definitive
lines, how the pigment of each color
would decay into yet another fuzzy shape

and shade which too would defy
the sharp outline of the object. Perhaps
it was this tenderness which my eyes
never tired of till the very day the painting
would leave for another gallery.

The Face of Mount Rushmore

The pretext for the afternoon
was as one-sided as the face
of Mount Rushmore but not near
as stark, bathed in a pink flesh,
a hint of musk that would linger
well into the early evening.

One thing led to another;
it was not with the exchange
of currency or anything so mercantile
just one wanting more than another
and somewhere that line was smudged
and became a bridge that was more
easily crossed than self containing

and in the end, she would
use that same messy smudge
to retreat to safety
on the other side of reason
and worry if that one loop
had already become a path.

My Mason Jar

Fractions of your attention
I keep in a Mason Jar with a lid
like we did fireflies as kids.
If I look closely they resemble
floaters in my vision
no one ever believes I see.

I’ve warmed to the notion
I could settle for as much—
a downgrade from my original view.
An affirmation like I couldn’t win
but maybe place or show.

It’s some fancy booking
done on the balance sheet
that allows dehydrated particles
to be reconstituted into pity portions.

I bathe in their seductiveness
to mollify the condition
to which I am now accustomed.

Michael Allyn Wells is a Missouri poet who makes his home in a Kansas
City suburban community with his wife and three dogs.  He enjoys white
wine, black coffee, and music. When not reading or writing he cheers on
the San Francisco Giants during baseball season.  Off season he suffers
from SAD.  His work has appeared in numerous print and online venues
Rose and Thorn Journal, Rockhurst Annual Fine Arts Review,
Boston Literary Magazine, Montucky Review,  Punchnel’s Magazine,
Liquid Imagination, and Apeiron Review. He presently is working on a
manuscript. You can follow him at

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Title Image: Michael Allyn Wells, poetry.
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