This Is What I Want You To See When You Look At Me

Allef Vinicius
Allef Vinicius

I want to know what you see
when you look at me.
Is it brown eyes, searching
your face? Is it a smile, pulling
you closer? Is it arms and legs,
muscles and curves?
Do you feel threatened
by the way I walk
with my head straight, gazed fixed
and unwavering?
When you look at me,
do you see mascara on my eyelashes?
Blush on my cheeks? Running shoes on my feet?
When you look at me,
do you see fingers with silver rings,
manicured and delicate?
Do you see callouses from work,
a smudge of dirt on my knee, scuffed
soles from the places I’ve wandered?

Because when you look at me,
I want you to see fierceness and grace.
I want you to see hands, worn
from both labor and love.
I want you to see legs, strong
from the paths I’ve walked
and the burdens I’ve carried.
I want you to see a heart
big and beating
and shining boldly through my smile.
When you look at me,
I don’t want you to just see
girl, woman, female, pretty.
I don’t want you to just see
curves, muscles, short, strong.
I don’t want you to just see
chest, back, lashes, legs.
I want you to see where I’ve come from
and who I’ve become,
the laughter from my lips
and the faraway look in my eyes
when I start to remember what I’ve lost.
I want you to feel the warmth of my skin,
touch my body with your fingertips.
I want you to know I’m not just a woman,
a human, a body. But a force,
an energy, a soul.
I want you to know
we are so different,
so complex,
so disconnected.

But I want you to look at me
and see we are the same. TC mark

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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