Let’s take a swim
In the Ocean of Me
And from surface to bottom
My normal and strange
My average and special
My sides from all angles.
Look from above toward
The reflective ripples
And you’ll see chic outfits, girly dresses
French braids and wavy curls
Crisp lines of eyeliner
Heeled boots to boost the height.
Scoop a bit of water into the air
And under the glittery surface
Of makeup, heels, my Zara and UO
In my stick-straight hair
In my dark brown eyes
In my pale skin
Even in height — in Asian standards, that is.
Now submerge your head
And open your eyes under the water.
My knees are knobby
With misaligned kneecaps
And my feet are calloused
From dance rehearsals I no longer remember
My hands are too vein-y
(according to today’s society)
And my clavicle juts out unevenly.
Deeper now, dive right in and swim
See a bookworm
A tea lover
A hip-hop dancer
A heavy metal fanatic
A bit shy, some timid
A whole lot of wild arm movements
And silly faces, too.
Keep swimming deeper, to the very bottom
Feel the heat of love’s passion
The warmth of childhood laughter
The lukewarm of friendship’s uncertainties
The cold of emotional confusion
The chill of teenage depression.
Brush the sand with your fingers
Each grain a little memory
A moment in the last seventeen years
Of a toddler dressed as Minnie for Halloween,
A child with ice-cream-cake birthdays,
A pre-teen who loved anime,
A teenager finally beginning to find herself.
Running out of breath?
Hurry and swim back up
The swim was short
But I hope you caught a sense, a glimpse
Of the Ocean of Me.