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Judi Kaufman: "My Body’s Geography is My History"

The Poem

Judi Kaufman is a long-time community activist and entrepreneur; she is also an active member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Jewish committee. Her previous book of poetry was Passion and Shadow: The Lights of Brain Cancer. In 2000, following her first diagnosis of brain cancer, she founded Art of the Brain at UCLA Medical Center. “My Body’s History Is My Geography” may be found in her book, Do You Want Your Brain to Hurt Now or Later? Copyright © 2007, Bombshelter Press.
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My Body’s Geography is My History

Last week,
I was part of an ice sculpture.
That’s right, baby, an ice sculpture,
a nude Eve.
Next to me was Adam, with the tip of his dick exposed,
looking just like a crabby apple.
Cell by cell, my skin flaked off,
exposing my geography.
The dam held back all of my water.
it was made of crabby apples
cranberries, celery, spinach, squash,
tomatoes and tamatos.
Lo and behold, I was myself at 18,
a woman like Africa, half discovered,
half wild, with fertile soil.
At 30 I was like America,
well-developed and open to trade,
especially with men with a twinkle in their eye.
At 35, I was like India,
hot, relaxed
and convinced of my soul’s innate music.
Then 40 hit me: BAM!
And there I was, a woman like France, gently aging
but still a desirable place to visit.
At 50, can you believe it, I was like Great Britain,
with a glorious past as a conqueror.
Now I’m 60, a woman like Yugoslavia,
who has lost the war and is haunted by her mistakes.
In May, I’ll be 61,
a woman like Russia,
very wide with borders rarely patrolled.
And at 70, I hope to be like Tibet,
wildly beautiful with a mysterious past and the wisdom of all ages.
 

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