Who is she with her painted nails and eyes?
She looks back at me with a foreign confidence
as if she dares to demand attention
as if she is worth a second glance.
Who is she, this girl with my skin and hair and lips?
How did she get to be in those heels, in that dress?
I don't understand the smile or tilt of her hips.
As if she knows how it feels to feel beautiful
or what it means to be happy all by herself.
I understood the one with the downcast gaze,
the quiet speech and still hands.
I knew so well those awkward stumbles
and that heavy insecurity on those rounded shoulders.
The shackles and that look of defeat,
they were my intimate friends.
Where have they gone?
And at my feet now
a new path stretches forth.
This one is so unlike those paved ways,
roads smooth, unbroken, wide.
No, this one twists and climbs up
near and distant hills
with hidden valleys
roots, shrubs, spiderwebs, and streams.
And who is this girl, with hands so like mine?
Who is she with her strong legs and sure footing?
She looks back at me with anticipation
as if she knows where we are going
as if nothing can stand in her way.
Who is she, this girl with my tongue and toes and fingertips?
How did she get that laughter in her eyes, with those friends?
I don't understand the things she does or how she feels.
As if she is only a temporary phenomenon,
or some small step in a larger plan.
Who is this girl, standing in my place in the mirror?
Who is she with her tanned face and tattooed leg?
She looks back at me with eyes full of questions
but I know she knows how it feels to feel beautiful
and what it means to be happy all by herself.