a warm, soothing, softly flowing shower. body exploration amid a steamy fog. my soft, large breasts with large, expansive areolas around my dark nipples. my growing belly, stretching wide to welcome my new world. my strong back, achingly sore and covered with unsightly rashy bumps. my bushy undergrowth, bustling like a heathery moss thriving in the shade of that full moon. my legs, also covered by a soft, dark down since efforts to groom gave way to others--the efforts to sooth, accept, embrace. my feet, tired but strong, supporting two bodies, eight limbs--a sturdy stand for my spinning globe. my arms, my hands, traveling across my face and neck. my armpit. all other changes, i will come to love. even the rash, i can happily ignore. i feign distaste and disgust for his sake only, for i do not have to see it. (it baffles my doctor, and resists all treatments and scrubs, persisting until the baby comes, then vanishes overnight.) but this armpit. i have developed an unsightly skin tag, like ugly debris on a pristine and sacred ocean. this was unexpected. my body--inhabited by another, accepting and embracing everywhere but here, where one little eruption sends up a petulant, insistent complaint. i sense it will be soon forgotten. but for now, i study it, giving it its due. i mourn the loss of a perfect armpit, virgin territory from a brazen, virgin youth.