Jenny Johnson

Yoko Ono respected asses

up close, a complete backdrop  

flooding the camera.  

The ass as a form.


A form with four sections

seemingly simple to draw,

as when a child is asked to fold

construction paper into four squares


and asymmetry ensues.

When in motion, we notice

how they tip up and down.  

Yours are like two globes.


Your words not mine!

And it’s a perfect description. 

That you see your own ass

so fully, I must confess, is hot


as it’s no small thing to value

the back of one’s self. 

Self-knowledge is 360 degrees.

And you know, too,


how you want each cheek 

to be touched. I’m a pain slut,

you say, unashamed.

As with any rhythm,


surprise won’t come

if we haven’t first

established a pattern.

Repeat after me:


I wake to sleep and take my waking slow 

Darling, if you say,

I want impact, I deliver

a steady pentameter.




Found In Volume 52, No. 01
Read Issue
  • jenny johnson
Jenny Johnson
About the Author

Jenny Johnson is the author of In Full Velvet (Sarabande Books, 2017). Her honors include a Whiting Award, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and a NEA Fellowship. Her work has been supported by the Blue Mountain Center, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Yaddo.