“Sizing Up a Painting” Linda Apple
His left leg solidly planted,
His right leg outstretched and raised,
As if he is trying to look more deeply,
He peers into the Hopper window and sees
Two shop girls facing one another
Across a floating white formica table
In a sparsely furnished restaurant (so Hopper),
The Chop Suey sign partly visible through the window.
As though I just entered the gallery space,
I size up the painting and its beholder,
The viewer whose place too close to the wall
I will fill after he’s done with his contemplation.
His sweater is the same chartreuse as one girl’s blouse,
And I imagine that he sees the connection too
And wonders about her most of all,
This girl with the inscrutable face (so Hopper).
So now I’m thinking about “the Hopper”
But also thinking about the viewer
And the way he has guided my viewing
And I’m checking the color of my shirt.