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Rated: ASR · Poetry · Contest · #730131
For Round 1 of the Finale; Carmen Miranda's hat is frought with fruit.
A wartime American audience salivates
for fruits of unparalleled exaggeration:
an exotic caricature drawn carefully and framed,
emerging from black Bahia to walk unique;
The Streets of Paris on a Broadway stage.

She recalls modeling grapes, and gourds,
and the time she traded image for exposure.
Portuguese darling, sensual samba star…
she sizzles sweet in golden pineapple light
dancing overripe to tropical remembrances.

Brazil holds her accountable for acting
campy, flashing, foolish…a Latina-for-all:
hot Hollywood whore balancing bananas
to ever-increasing heights of impossibility;
The Gang’s All Here and she’s ensnared.

Her manner laden by harvest; christened con;
artfully declared South America’s Sell-out.
Potted deep within the waxy apple skins
are tiny seeds of roles she never realized:
famous painter, doting parent, elderly señora.
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