Walls

By Skye Patton


I feel bad for existing.


POC are the minority in the United States, so they stick together and form individual communities where they can feel safe and accepted. Their culture is the same, their ethnicity is the same, their race is the same. It is easier this way; no one has to explain their culture to others, no one has to feel guilty for existing the way they do. No one will go:

“Ew! You eat that?” or

“Why are you eating with your hands? It’s proper to eat with a fork and knife like civilized people.” or

“Your God is who? That’s wrong.” or

“Spirituality is a sin.” or

“Ugh, do I have to take my shoes off?”

The community serves as a form of protection against these racist comments. The community hosts cultural events where racism is forgotten and there is no shame, no ridicule. Life is good, and you are never alone because your people will always be by your side.


I don’t have a community.


I move between communities, but invisible walls prevent me from being engulfed with the love one would usually receive. I am not the most confident person, so I end up overanalyzing people and their reactions to me. I see a change in demeanor, a shift in tone, a twitch in their face when I enter. Just like that, the courage I had to even put myself out there crumbles. I go back into solitude because it is all I have ever known.



I feel bad for existing.


I feel like I am constantly intruding in spaces that don’t belong to me. I try to fit in, but where do I belong? Can I be in one space without the other ones hating me for choosing a side? Will there ever be a time when I don’t get brushed off because I “want to be more like the others”? I feel as though I am constantly punished for living, and in all honesty, I don’t see a future for myself that involves safety and love and growth. I see tall gray walls surrounding me, darkness consuming me, and heavy metal chains strangling me. Solitude is torture, but it is my consequence for living.


I feel bad for existing.



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