for AJM


Held together by a single pin, worn

leather swivels away to reveal two

spheres of glass. He stashes the magnifier

in a shirt pocket, useful when curious


about a book, a foreign stamp, a fragment

of bone. I observe him use it to enlarge print

from an old thesaurus, for lucidity in root

words of a Latin translation. He searches


for metaphysics of maps, ordinary objects

looking for candor, essence of honesty

in simple and complex ways of seeing.

He gathers the larger image of hours,


illuminates how matter matters in the great

pattern of the universe, how everything

observed enlarges perception, how a quest

burgeons insight. Always ready for new


revelations, every word, book, belief

augments and shapes his life. He amplifies

the moment, a clarity he approaches beyond

the lens and tattered leather cover.


Kay Mullen’s poems have appeared in Cross Winds Poetry Review, San Pedro River Review, American Life in Poetry  and other journals and anthologies. She has authored three books of poetry. Mullen lives and teaches in Tacoma.

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