Poetry: “Ass” by Diane DeCillis

Poetry: Diane DeCillis


Tremulous gibbous moons,
sand dunes of the body’s terrain,
I’m talking double bubble entendre—
not smart ass, the know-it-all,
the wiseacre—more cheek to cheek,
a tango as it were, the stuff of rumba,
samba, mambo—parallel
yet unparalleled in synonymy.

Call it: buttocks, butt, booty, behind, backside,
bum, buns, bedonkadonk, arse, can, cheeks,
hind-end, haunches, heinie, keister, glutes,
rump, gluteus maximus (or minimus) tail feather,
rear, junk-in-the-trunk, posterior, patootie,
tail, stern, seat, tooshie, tukhus, tush,
apple bottom, back pack, money maker,
rear-end, duff, fanny, derriere.

Describe it as: voluptuous, large, firm,
fine, jiggly, bouncy, flabby, saggy,
work horse of the body, a loyal constant,
cushioner of the fall, protector of coccyx,
defender of tail bone.

Sitting on it too long—ill advised.
You might wanna move yours,
get your ass in gear, avoid a kick in the ass—

Often maligned, called skinny,
scrawny, sorry, fat, wide, huge,
and though tight jeans might beg
the question, do these make my butt look big?
Let’s be honest, it makes itself look big.

Some identify with it, I’m an ass man,
which is different than saying, I’m an ass,

though often said by one.

There are isometrics to tighten it—
surgery to lift it, fill it—some are
labeled with it: bad ass, tight ass,
horse’s ass, half-ass, asshole—

some feel like one, others make an ass
of themselves, do things ass-backwards,

There are those who have their head
up their ass, some drag theirs,
some would have you
kiss their sweet one goodbye,
think they are kick ass, cool—

you don’t want one that’s too large,
but then again, small is also a problem,
no ass, flat, pancake ass—

the point is your ass can be on the line,
you have to cover your ass, watch your ass,
be wary of ass kissers and hard asses.

People fall flat on theirs some freeze theirs off,
work theirs off, get theirs kicked while others
gamble and lose theirs.

Ass, a one syllable, not one-note wonder—
call it the orchestral symphony of the body,
the wind section, the flute and toot,
heralding trumpet—the tuba, the coda,
the end that never ends.

Diane DeCillis’ poetry collection, Strings Attached (Wayne State University Press, 2014) has been honored as a Michigan Notable Book for 2015, won The 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award for poetry, and was a finalist for the Forward Indie Fab Book Award for poetry. Her poems have been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes, and Best American Poetry. Poems and essays have appeared in CALYX, Evansville Review, Minnesota Review, Nimrod International Journal, Connecticut Review, Gastronomica, Rattle, Slipstream, Southern Indiana Review, William and Mary Review, and numerous other journals.

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