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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