Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Body World

I love you. I love your body. I love every part of you,
every cell of you. I love the world of your body so much
that I visited the Body World exhibition to find out more about you:

how your short term memory is in your hippocampus,
your sense of smell and the expression of emotions
like fight or flight, rage or fear, is in your amygdale,

your lepta is for pleasure and reward and is the centre
of addictive behaviour, while your hypothalmus directs
the endocrine system that releases your hormones

and regulates visceral changes such as increased
blood pressure and breathing when frightened.
Your spinal cord transmits millions of nerve impulses

reaching speeds exceeding 440 kilometres per hour.
The left hemisphere of your brain is for verbal expression
and analytical thought and logic, the right hemisphere

is for intuitive thought and artistic expression.
Your brain weighs approximately 1.2 kilograms. Your body
has 96,000 kilometres of blood vessels. The thump

thump of your heart is caused by the closing of aorta valves
followed by the closing of ventricle valves. Every drop
of blood passes through your heart once every minute.

Your red blood cells carry oxygen to the parts of your body
that need it most at any moment. Having released their oxygen
the cells take on carbon dioxide, changing their colour

to purple as they return along the veins to your heart.
Your respiratory system provides oxygen with each breath,
your blood absorbs the oxygen from the inhaled air

and releases carbon dioxide which is then exhaled. Digestion
occurs in the duodenum, breaking down food into the nutrients
your body needs: carbohydrates, fats, amino acids and glucose.

Your large intestine is a fibro-muscular tube that absorbs water
and undigested food, bacteria act on it to produce vitamins.
When you were in the womb, you spent 30 minutes as a single cell,

now you have more than 75 trillion cells. Your skin's outer layer
protects you from moisture, dehydration, radiation and millions
of microbes. Your inner layer of skin, the dermis, contains nerve

receptors, blood vessels, follicles of hair and oil and sweat glands.
Every month your skin cells are replaced by new cells.
Every three months your bone cells are replaced. The distance

to the far side of the earth is 26,000 miles, to the sun 93
million miles, to the edge of the universe, 46 billion light years.
Given all this, it seems a miracle that you might be here

And not there, and not in another form - so let me simply love you.

Note: I am indebted to "Bodies - The Exhibition" for much of the details above.

© Paul Archer - All Rights Reserved