Pretty Parts

They were standing in front of a mirror, the two of them, not touching, side by side. She’d said, “I want to know what you think of my body” and stripped down to nothing. He had done the same silently, respectfully, aware that this was a gift, not yet frightened by what it might lead to or what it might mean. She was taller but only slightly. They didn’t talk about that. She was wider also but only at the hips, and they were both rib-thin, and the skin pulled over their collarbones in a pretty way. There were muscles on his arms. He had hairy armpits. She was surprised by this every time. He was thirty but little, a boy with man features. The clerk at the desk had laughed when he’d produced his license.

He said, “My girlfriend thinks I have short legs because I have a long torso.”

She said, “I have long legs. They say short torsos look bad in bikinis. But I have long legs.”

He said, “I don’t have short legs.”

She said, “But I don’t wear bikinis.”

Again she said, “I want you to tell me about my body.”

She closed her eyes and waited.

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