Ode to Fat
Tonight, as you undress, I watch your wondrous
flesh that’s swelled again, the way a river swells
when the ice relents. Sweet relief
just to regard the sheaves of your hips,
your boundless breasts and marshy belly.
I adore the acreage
of your thighs and praise the promising
planets of your ass.
O, you were lean that terrifying year
you were unraveling, as though you were returning
to the slender scrap of a girl I fell in love with.
But your skin was vacant, a ripped sack,
sugar spilling out and your bones insistent.
O praise the loyalty of the body
that labors to rebuild its palatial realm.
Bless butter. Bless brie.
Sanctify schmaltz. And cream and cashews.
Stoke the furnace
of the stomach and load the vessels. Darling,
drench yourself in opulent oil,
the lamp of your body glowing. May you always
flourish enormous and sumptuous,
be marbled with fat, a great vault that
I can enter, the cathedral where I pray.
From Indigo (Copper Canyon Press, 2020) by Ellen Bass. Copyright © 2020 by Ellen Bass. Used with permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Copper Canyon Press, coppercanyonpress.org.
Ellen Bass is the author of Like a Beggar (Copper Canyon Press, 2014). She currently serves on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.
Date Published: 2020-04-07
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/ode-fat