Existing

I didn’t come here

To seek your opinion

Or beg for your acceptance.

I didn’t come here hoping

Maybe,

Just maybe

You’d like me.

I didn’t run away

Just because the fires of my discomfort

Burned too hot,

Licked at my heels

And tried to make me flee.

I didn’t come here to hear you talk

About what you like

Or you don’t

About who is doing what

And why.

I didn’t listen because you wanted to tell me

About the ways the world should be

Because I simply

Don’t agree.

I didn’t raise myself up so that I could

Be rendered small

And meaningless

By your opinion of me

Or anyone else.

I didn’t slam my fingers

In the door

Over and over

Until they bled

So you could tell me what hurts.

I know what hurts.

It’s the weight of wearing

The cloak of another person’s condemnation.

It’s the broken back

From hauling the weight

Of another person’s

Preconceptions

Of you

Of the world

Of the ways things should be.

I don’t struggle

Or fight

With myself

Or anyone else

Because I need to protect the narrow walls

Of my existence.

I do it instead

To simply

Exist.