In Sri Lanka, young girls, learn
From middle school onwards, that their bodies
Are more sacred than temples, only to be embellished
With beautiful things, like a gold ring,
Which ushers in, the most breathtaking night,
When honey-dips take the form
Of body fluids; drool, sweat and sebum
Gliding out surreptitiously, as she learns
The coarse art of dirty talk, and the fine
Art of tomfooling, some sleazy foreplay.
And yet, “waiting till marriage” is going out of fashion,
In both rural landscape and urban centers,
Another fat dodo in the making.
Now, barely-there women, who
In their late teens, learn the evolutionary traits,
Of what it takes to be a member of the order Lepidoptera.
It is only when the hymen stretches,
That a woman realizes, that pain is just
A sibling of pleasure, and in that defying war-cry,
Demi-discomfort and semi-bliss,
You find, half-girl and half-woman,
In her metamorphosis, from inside cocoon
Walls to emergent butterfly wings,
Dazzling in striking after-glow.
Wings that will get wet, from time to time,
To dewdrops of lust and raindrops of guilt,
Sometimes both appearing at the same hour.
Regret is just an afterthought, of wishing the hymen back,
To sell, in that still bustling arranged-marriage market,
As an oyster, whose shell is a pricier commodity,
Than the beautiful pearl inside.