To the UBC Aquatic Centre Women’s Locker Room

I have never seen myself in three dimensions all in one glance.
That comprehensive view has been granted to you.

Once in middle school, girls in another locker room laughed
at my Latina ass. But now I am here where I change into my suit
as I hear one woman tutor another on the trick of the locker,
“Hold the handle up the whole time, put the coin in, close it,
and then turn the key.” When I turn around, I see the speaker’s
stark naked, buxom buttocks and all.

Undergraduate students vent in righteous indignation
on themes of feminism and inclusion. One among them, like me,
has faint acne scars on her back, no less beautiful for that.

Morning regulars include a woman with jet-black hair
and brown-sugar skin, early 40s; and another, silver-haired
with sun-speckled complexion, mid 70s, both similar
to my short height, small cup size. I aspire to be like them,
comfortable in their own warm-toned skin, still swimming.

Every so often an exhibitionist leaves off clothes for a while,
affording even respectful, averting eyes a chance to see
organic female glory.

After my post-swim shower, I return to my locker,
dab on and rub in lavender lotion, aware
that this process leaves me open to view.
So be it. I’ve accepted, thanks to all of you, I
am a real woman, too.

I Gave A Gift