A Kind of Seeing
Mark Simpson

            on the painting by Pamela Grace, Sometimes I Wonder

How the eye seems drawn to nothing, the empty space
in a universe that is not, a universe that seems
something else.

And the mind wandering in the interior of something else.

There is the body and then the space, but how does the body matter?
It is there and not—

the folds in the dress,
the arms, a hand that seems almost not a hand, forever smoothing the folds of the dress,
the pattern of the wall arriving at a periphery.

You can’t help it, how the eye is drawn to where there is no eye,
the space staring back at you.

There is the body, and the wall, angular, a frame within a frame,
the white of the dress flowing, dissolving into shadows of white,
and the space, which also flows.

Is this wonder dissolving into flesh and the texture of flesh—
or is it the ghost of wonder lost within itself?

She has turned toward you.
This is how the mind turns inward.
Mark Simpson’s recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Sleet (Pushcart Prize nominee), Broad River Review (Rash Award Finalist), Columbia Journal (Online), Third Wednesday, Clackamas Literary Review, and Cold Mountain Review. He is the author of Fat Chance (Finishing Line) and The Quieting (Pine Row Press). He has a Ph.D. in rhetoric and writing and currently farms several acres of forest, fruit, and vegetables. Current residence: Whidbey Island, Washington.


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