these bodies 
of water

A poem. By Nikkita Oliver

i’ve never worn a medium but suddenly
all of my large does not fit quite like it used to.

coach commends me for losing weight.
asks me if i feel different. i’m not sure if i should

or if i do: what does it mean
to be a wxmxn’s medium & a men’s small
if it means anything at all. people comment
on my body.

we, wxmxn, are always bodies-
never enough. always too much.
giving and receiving. expanding
and shrinking.
these bodies take on so much

water weight, but can never drown.
must buoy up. we, navigation marks,
showing reefs or other hazards,
keeping someone or something afloat.

these bodies.
devices designed to hang on water,
can be anchored or allowed to drift
with the waves of someone else’s eyes
bounced round another’s salty sea

and i wonder what would it mean
to behold the size of my ocean and
not wish she were less of a threat.