To return to the changing light in the small room,
trying to see a painting differently, slowly each time,
revising, turning his eyes to another figure, another color,
the way a small V arrows into the space between glance
and sight, shapeshifts to maneuver the invisible narrows,
a painting’s self-sufficient containment resistant to probe,
turned away from exposure and the limits of time.
Example #1, passing by, example #2 returning January-June
looking again until an opening opens with time, in time enough,
an occurrence such as blue, locked eyes, a detail of horse and rider
off to the side, the way it startles and it hadn’t been there before,
goes in a direction out of the painting as if insignificant,
almost missing given the speed of the horse, and a tiny conundrum–
finally seen, an arm reflected in the lake, nude, watered over.
Martha Ronk is the author of eleven books of poetry; her most recent, Ocular Proof, 2016 from Omnidawn focuses on photographs and representation. Transfer of Qualities, 2013 was long-listed for the National Book Award, and Vertigo, Coffeehouse Press, was winner of the National Poetry Series. She remains interested in various ways of working with ekphrasis.