By Bhaavya Gupta

My brassiere comes off, one hook at a time

Sliding softly down my back, baring my front

My panties slide down next

A simple cotton, the colour of blood

Sturdy pieces of clothing that do me well

And then I am naked, my body bare

Except for the marks,

Accessories of their own.

I look up at the girl staring back through the mirror

She looks scared and vulnerable

As if only just having discovered what she is.

I look down again at my breasts

Thick with mammaries that will someday make milk

Falling softly onto my abdomen,

White lotuses with a dark seed in the middle.

I raise my arms to fondle them

Pick them up and cup them, then let them drop

And as they fall I feel a stir, one I had never noticed before.

I look at my stomach next,

Trace the lines that lead up to my navel

And then the hair that takes me beyond

To a place left unexplored for far too long.

I see a bulge there, right above the grail

Where my flat stomach should have been, but is not

And instead the slightest pooch, making me voluptuous

And maybe unappealing to those who stare.

My vagina can’t be seen through the soft lair of hair that covers it

Almost protecting it from something

Something I am yet to discover.

I take my fingers there, to a path unexplored

And I feel the happiness rise.

And then I have turned around,

and am craning my neck to stare at what is labelled my back

A long piece of flesh, arching

Almost as if made in two and joined to one.

My buttocks intrigue me, for they are round

As round as my breasts had been

But thicker, more sizeable

Very obvious against the flatness of the body

Shivering just a little when I walk.

I turn back around and stare at my body

Not smooth skinned or unmarked

But lined with stretch marks and scars,

Not just a chocolate brown or a pale white

But a number of colours,

Each part a different hue.

The girl in the mirror is scrutinising me

Staring at my lips like she would at a fruit

Craning to look at my neck And then, back at my breasts again.

I smile thereafter, a little contented

In this knowledge of my own

And slip into the bathtub,

my hair bouncing off my shoulders and falling over my breasts

And then with soap, my body is obscured once again.

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