Ocean of Me


Let’s take a swim

In the Ocean of Me

And from surface to bottom

We’ll see

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

Bronzed cheeks

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

I’m average

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

Too masculine-like

(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.


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