Copacabana, like a hot teenager on Spring Break… Around rock cliffs at Ipanema, the youthful rhythm of sun, sand and string bikinis still moves to a samba beat. Revelling six-packs in tight, bright trunks above muscled brown calves casually kick balls, throw Frisbees into the surf, while heavenly bodies with fragrant hair and warm, white smiles drape themselves across the sand, each curved buttock accurately exposed to the sun in perpetual worship. Rio parades through the calendar of carnival, shouting, swaying, jumping and diving to the inescapable chorus of relentless celebration. Her undulating beats paved into waves of black and white mosaic marble rippled out in crazy patterns across the pulsing promenade, hovering like musical notes above the blue Atlantic.
Rio, like an aging harlot struggling to rise before noon, squinting behind dark glasses into the glare of relentless sun, lighting another cigarette, watching parading samba-schools streaming by below. Rio, like the hollow ribcage of the ghetto child whose nose is never wiped, picking through rum-drenched refuse after nightly street revelry. Rio, whose oozing gutters smell like raw petrol spilt from rusting tail pipes mixed with the blood of drug wars in the favelas, rising into shimmering heatwaves of ghosts. Rio, like a penniless girl shuffling back to a shanty town in wet feathers after the last carnival parade, weeping into grey dawn rain.
©2013 S. K. Riley