Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Red Hibiscus

The red hibiscus

She is a nearly white figure with flesh legs and flesh hands and a face shadowed by the hat. The fabric hat is white in the sun where she is standing, the brightest spot on a forest path, at the indent of incline, the one flat square before the path trails off at a slight ascent. She stands to wait. Because she's been called. A camera clicks. She is patient, without turmoil, free. Is it love? A smile bends her mouth which is barely visible, only the shadow gently arcs upward. Around her neck is a red bandana and covering her breasts, her belly, her shoulders, the umbilicus, is a white cotton throw, sleeveless, light like the light, coming to a stop at the top of her shorts. These too are light, bleached denim almost white. The frayed legs point inward at each other. Her left hand touches her thigh slightly. Above the hand at the wrist bone is a brown leather band. A vee-shaped shadow at her crotch is the darkest point in the entire portrait. My eyes pivot to that point, to that pubic letter then fall to her knees, her calfs, the dark sneakers. Up again, searching, finding the hand, to the smile, the face and there I see it: the red hibiscus. "People loved that old hat," she told me, "S_ couldn't understand why."

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