But it is just two lovers, holding hands and in a hurry to reach their car, their locked hands a starfish leaping through the dark.
A sentence by John Updike.
I've never seen a lot of sentences like this pattern. It (the bold part) looks like a phrase, a free modifier.
When I try to split the Phrase there I got two noun phrases- their locked hands and a starfish.
I think I can just write - Their locked hands a starfish
Their locked hands leaping through the dark is the common syntax of the phrase (often named absolute phrase) I've encountered in books.
How is it possible to construct a phrase with a noun equating to another in the same structure?
Can I just write My hands a starfish?
But it is just two lovers, walking towards their car, their hands a starfish, their black car a nimbus at night.
Why don't I see a lot of such sentences in literature?
What such a construction is called? 🤔
Finally.. Is there any special equation to make such absolute or embed constructions?
(I'm not a native English Speaker)