Noa Cohen

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This week on the Sunday Showcase, we’re sharing two poems by Noa Cohen, who is also a contributor in our first issue. Noa’s poetry is direct and lucid and vulnerable, which makes it so relatable and easy to love.

Noa Cohen grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, though she called Israel home many years before she made Aliyah on her own at age nineteen. She loved reading and writing from a young age, and spent her high school years in a writing magnet program where she served as senior editor of the school’s literary magazine, Synergy, and won numerous awards from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, including five gold keys. Just before graduating, she self-published her collection of poetry, On Israel’s Ripe Horizon. She was released from the Israeli Navy a year ago, and is currently applying to university in Israel, where she plans to study English Literature. Noa dreams of a future in Tel Aviv filled with many long days of writing, a dog curled up by her side.

Blessed Be This Body

after Levi Cain

 – Noa Cohen

All five feet and one

inch of it. Just enough to be

blessed. Hair unplucked, currents

of cellulite trickling

down hips. Blessed. These toes

blistered from so many miles

of walking in the wrong shoes.

Blessed. These curls

spiraling down my shoulders, frizzing

in the rain. Blessed. This skin

collecting color in the sun,

clearing in all that is bright.

This back, weeks of aching

from sleeping wrong or the weight

of carrying what is too heavy. 

Blessed. In elementary school,

I would daydream my thighs

gone. Now, I let the lucky ones

pray to them. Blessed.

This stomach, not 

flat enough. Now,

I feed it anyway, keep it 

full. Blessed. The stone glittering

from my belly button.

These breasts

passed down by my mother

and her mother

and hers, heavy

and too big for me, 

just right. I squeeze

them when I can’t breathe.

Blessed. My lungs

for breathing anyway

when air seems distant.