As the sun faces its habitual cycle,
a neverending motion of rising and falling,
my skin ages, starkly stiffening with each passing year.
Each glance in the mirror is almost indistinguishable.
However, like a tree’s changing leaves,
I look back one day, and the rhythm of my appearance shifts,
becoming a blend of unfamiliar colors.
I measure my height,
yielding different numbers each time.
I observe my untamed curls,
watching them fall further down my back.
My external appearance is as fluid
as a stream flooding between open crevices of an austere mountain
and is as irresolute as the colors painted on the sky each night.
I try to observe my shifting appearance within shattered pieces of glass.
My hair grew four inches this year.
My height remained unchanged.
My eyes remain an apathetic brown.
Yet, how do I measure what’s beneath my skin?
How do I observe what I cannot see?
I’ve tried to understand the girl beneath the skin.
How tall did my confidence grow?
Was the joy planted beneath my skin watered efficiently?
Did my grief change colors with the seasons?
I may not see the river that flows beside her,
but I can feel the frigid, coursing waves
brush against my fingertips,
reminding me of her existence.
Thus, as the sun faces its habitual cycle of rising and falling,
I apologize for not always understanding the motion
of what’s beneath the surface of my skin.
I apologize for counting my inches
while dismissing the voice in my head
that encourages me to grow.