Everyone on Facebook has a number on their head.
"How old do I look?"
The 42-year-old wears 35 (“Oh HELL yeah!”) The 23 year old wears 31 (“WTF?!?”) The 82 year old wears 82. (“I earned it...”)
I look in the mirror in the white light of the sun, and I see me... but that isn’t enough:
One JPG image and I'll have an answer, too...
“How old do I look?”
And like Narcissus, I am waiting, staring, drowning, face falling through the screen: "Define me. Tell me who I am."
The screen shifts — a digital stone skips over water, and reflection, refraction, recollection slips.
Then shaken, I can see:
Through my children's mirror, I am theirs with no borders: a gentle sway to my back, my stomach stretched and softened, breasts they know by heart. But look closer:
Through my son's I am pink. With perfect toes.
Through my daughter's I am her face but through a veil of sand, with different shades, already clay feet.
Through my foes', I am smirking.
Through my friends', I am smiling.
Through my lover's, I am naked with a touch of lace, and perfect and soft and real. But with a spine of steel, yet I know how to bend. For in the end, one must be kind and one must yield.
And through my mirror, I sometimes see a child, a sea-fairy, skipping on the sand, toes wet with foam, collecting shells as smooth as my hands.
And then sometimes, there are ancient days: I am a crone. A goddess of experience, each line across my face is honed. My own.
Pregnant nymph. Laughing lady. Little girl. Dancing waif.
(Through my mother's mirror I was a fairy and then a demon, and then a fairy and back again — a laughing child, a well of power, unharnessed fury, tears like pearls, dimples, in a blur, I shifted. Or so I imagine since it's too late to ask: her mirror is smashed. But then I stop and then I ask: Is this how I see my daughter?)
So take your algorithms, and these ages, tell me I look 33 (it's true according to my birth certificate ) or tell me I look 29 (I'm glad that year has passed) tell me I look 40 (I haven't been there yet) or 18 (that passed in a blur to quick to hold) or even 60 (may I only survive myself that long.)
I am all these ages in all reflections through all prisms.
Undefined, I leave this prison.
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