Lloyd Schwartz

from “Fourteen People, after a portrait series by Ralph Hamilton”

 

“Look at that yellow shirt!” “Banana.” “No . . . canary;
and those vanilla slacks.” “Slack? That hard crease
could hold her up.” “Neat; perfect posture. But easy,
comfortable—shirt out, short sleeves, earth shoes,
that mushroom-cloud of hair . . .” “What about those buttons—
all buttoned; and her arms at attention, one foot forward.
I bet she’s itching for a fight . . .” “Or ready for one;
I wouldn’t mess with those laser slit-eyes.” “But where’s
her face? It seems . . . unfinished; almost un-formed.”
“She wants it that way: for surprises.” “Or secrets . . .”
“Her lips (“Lips? Where?” “Don’t be funny.”) are sealed.
She has to be wary.” “Chary . . . She won’t give an inch.”
“She can’t—she’s on an edge. There’s nothing behind her.”
“Not about to fall though.” “No, unassailable.” “Scary . . .”

Lloyd Schwartz

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