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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.

Look in a Mirror

Look in a mirror. Look into a face that has been kissed, by a mother or a lover, and trace its invisible heat map with your eyes. How many times have tears rolled down, or fingers brushed your cheekbones, or has food dribbled on your chin? Now think about when you were younger, and what you thought you’d look like at the age you are now. Imagine this person next to you, and shake her hand. You have made peace with her, because she does not exist. Think about someone you feel disappointed in, and let it occur to you that they might feel disappointed in you.

Look in a mirror, look at your lips that have said gentle, kind words. Look at your teeth that have clenched with cruel thoughts. Remember all the eyelashes you made wishes on, they are still here on earth, blowing through the air, passing flowers and people who do not notice.

Look in a mirror, see the ugly that’s inside seep through the pores of your skin. Then marvel at the beauty that glistens in your pupils, and let the ugly and the beauty swirl like oil and water. Look into a mirror, and stare into eyes that have witnessed. Remember how it felt. Now walk away.