my first time

the first time i wore you,
i hid you underneath my navy sarong.
your white strings, wrapped around my sand-colored neck,
tightened when i smelled our host—
the salty, cold ocean.

i rearranged my towel, my beach bag, my floppy sun-hat
i reapplied sunscreen on my legs, arms, neck
i reminded myself that wearing you
shouldn’t be a big deal.

i uncovered you
and
felt my fleshy sides jiggle more than usual
when i fidgeted on my towel.
the chill breeze tickled my bare stomach, back, thighs
as i ran in the ocean,
trying to hide you, me, from the world.

i discovered the softness of the ocean’s touch
and the warmth of the ocean’s hug
that day.

the first time i wore you,
you felt intimidating,
frightening.

liberating.