fruit lady

This is an ekphrastic poem about a sculpture by John Martini.

in her previous life
she held up the roof
of a high school gymnasium

she misses the sneaker chirps
and the thap thap thap
of bouncing orange balls
less than she enjoys
being upright in the sun
bearing only the weight
of an imaginary fruit bowl
on her upturned head

with her sculpted
muscular arms
slender hip-less torso
and pubescent boy breasts
she looks more like
a young heracles
than her brazilian bombshell
name sake

her primitive serpentine shadow
lengthens with the day
as the sun slowly etches
bronze and orange age spots
in streaked lines across
her dark brown metallic skin

forever frozen in profile
walking a junkanoo two-step line
she sings through
finger-thick lips
her caribbean song to the sky

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