Poetic does not mean subtle when bulging eyes and burning flesh are used. That's like calling ME subtle.
Here, "poetic" refers to the clever phrasing and ironic comparison to "fruit," which does not have burning flesh or bulging eyes.
If you listen to the other half of the lyrics, you can be tricked. But that just proves the point: they aren't listening if they are grinding to this song, in particular.
Like I said, I might be ignorant due to my lack of ignorance about this particular song. But this is not a song that jazz enthusiasts or scholars exclusively know. It was one of about three songs played in its entirety in Ken Burns' widely-watched Jazz documentary series; it has been the sole subject of at least one or two other documentaries (its social impact and how it addressed racial issues of the times, etc.), and has been featured in virtually every Billie Holiday documentary.
Moreover, Holiday's vocals are particularly haunting and NOT AT ALL romantic or seductive in this song, so I can't see grinding to it, myself, or even dancing to it, at all.
But maybe I'm in the minority because I don't know what it is like to NOT know this song.