Why is it that boys going through puberty
are so self-conscious about getting undressed
in the YMCA locker room? They keep
those white towels around their waists, even
as they step into their briefs or boxers.
I'm not sure they've completely toweled off.
Aren't they uncomfortable pulling dry clothes
over wet skin? I know I would be.
The near-acrobatics each will go through
so that no one else sees his penis.
And yet, they are almost always there
with a friend. Why doesn't one of them
change in one bank of green lockers,
while his friend can undress in another?
They could both relax a little if they were
apart, but they stay together, tense.
I would find the whole thing mildly amusing
if it weren't for the fact that they're so
brazen when they're fully clothed,
talking to each other on the way out,
oblivious to the fact that others can hear them.
There was one time I was waiting near the exit
for my wife to join me after our workout,
and heard two boys, walking by together, talking,
and I was shocked, when one said:
That's so gay.
* * * * *
This poem was written in response to a prompt at Big Tent Poetry to write a poem about "getting undressed somewhere besides the bedroom or bathroom".