When I was nineteen

I detested:

My elongated nose,

My short calves,

My brown skin,

My too-big smile,

And my leathery palms.


After you were gone,

I saw in me:

Your aristocratic nose,

Your feminine calves,

Your sun-kissed skin,

Your welcoming smile,

And the stories in your palms.


At twenty-nine,

Sometimes I am startled,

To catch a sudden reflection of myself -

A glimpse of you

Still breathing,

Within me.

If only I had known

That the cost of my self-acceptance would be, your loss

And my first lesson on love.

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