I want you to see me standing, serene, on a cliff top. I'm upright, with my shoulders back and my chin out and my hands folded neatly in front of me. If you like, you can add long hair, flapping gently in a light breeze, or lips, loosely gathered in a soft smile. You can peer at my toes, planted barefoot in the mud, spaced wide and firm, with the earth oozing between them. My hips are square and strong. My chest expands with unhurried breaths. In all this, what you must see is my stillness, my confidence, my calm.

That is how I see myself most days. On the other days, I dance. I become whirling motion, moved by the music, thrown around by a rhythm I don't control. On those days, I choose to close my eyes, to feel the world tilt up in my living room as I surrender my powers of vision and give in to a cacophony I bring upon myself, swayed but not falling, bent but responding, leaping, and shuffling, and turning around.

Rarely, I weep. I curl into myself, squeezing up like a sponge to wring out the sadness. I do this not because I am uncertain, but because I am becoming certain, and I know (after all I've been through) that these tears will help me buy my passage home.

And I know (after all we've been through) that I want to tell you how to see me. I stand. I dance. I weep. All of these are who I am.

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