after Leo Touchet’s Eureka Valley Sand Dunes #0721
Those sand dunes
into magic shapes
to form a view
of abstract art
through the lens:
in deep stillness
that makes you
upon seeing her.
Questions from Seeing
after Leo Touchet’s Eureka Valley Sand Dunes #0758
Doesn't the background shadow
look like an unearthed mummy
of an Egyptian pharaoh?
Doesn’t the foreground sand
ripple like a magic labyrinth
leading to a pyramid in darkness?
If so, shouldn’t ancient burial
mean eternal peace
that shouldn’t be disturbed?
Archeology has dug up the buried
for exhibition and research. But,
what do we see after the bandage
of a mummy is unwrapped?
A human body as dry as a dead
Joshua tree or an item for preservation?
When you approach a mummy case
in the museum, do you shudder
when painted eyes stare at you?
The seeing of the researchers,
the seeing of the visitors,
and the seeing of the dry dead,
whose desire is stronger?
Silence seems to be a loud answer.
Jianqing Zheng is the author of A Way of Looking (Silverfish Review Press, 2021), which won the Gerald Cable Book Award, and The Dog Years of Reeducation (forthcoming with Madville Publishing in 2023), editor of Conversations with Dana Gioia (University Press of Mississippi, 2021), and professor of English at Mississippi Valley State University where he also edits Valley Voices.