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An Ideal Woman Poem

An Ideal Woman Poem By Yehuda Amichai

I know a man who put together an ideal woman
from all his desires: the hair
he took from a woman in the window of a passing bus,
the forehead from a cousin who died young, the hands
from a teacher he had as a kid, the cheeks from a little girl,
his childhood love, the mouth from a woman he noticed
in a phone booth, the thighs
from a young woman lying on the beach,
the alluring gaze from this one, the eyes from that one,
the waistline from a newspaper ad.
From all these he put together
a woman he truly loved. And when he died, they came,
all the women—legs chopped off, eyes plucked out, faces slashed in half,
severed hands, hair ripped out, a gash where a mouth used to be,
and demanded what was theirs, theirs, theirs,
dismembered his body, tore his flesh, and left him
only his long-lost soul.

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