She observes herself through the lens of a discriminating microscope. Underneath the surface, critical eyes peer through the looking glass; every microscopic flaw a window into the macrocosm. She turns the dial for closer inspection. Upon examination she begins to see more clearly, beyond the open pores and blackheads. Below the epidermis lies the subcutaneous layer, made up of atoms, molecules and cells. Total magnification unveils what is raw and pure. Peeling away layers of skin, a new meaning of self arises. The one in which skin becomes the flesh of her spirit and an opening of pores allows the light to come in. As she turns the dial outward the larger picture emerges and the need for microscopic inspection disappears. She places the microscope in the closet, ocular pointing out and then turns and steps outside of herself. A new beginning without the magnifying glass. She’s an infant, a girl, a young woman, a woman in midlife, an old woman growing older, growing comfortable in her own skin. A shell that’s hers and hers alone. A fire is blossoming between skin and bone. It is here she has found her nonjudgemental home.