Dare to exist

A hush
upon entrance.
A chill
creeps at a prickly crawl.

Stares and murmurs,
chuckles and slurs,
bated breaths swiping
the surface of my caramel skin,
seeping from scowling maws
like predatory vipers,
thirsting to draw blood,
hoping for a taste
of copper fear.

I face forward.
I smirk knowingly
at ghosts of Others past.
I breathe,
with the audacity to believe
your air is also mine.
I cut through,
hot blade in a quiet duel
with your cold steel.

"Queer," you sneer.

How you must seethe,
and how my smile is strengthened,

I persist.

I dare to exist.
Written by MgAl
Author's Note
As an Asian immigrant and QPOC, I am very familiar with "the look" whenever my tall, imposing, Queer presence enters a place that is not necessarily used to, or accepting of, such a thing in their normal lives. But facing such looks for most, if not all, of my time living in the United States, although it took me quite a long time to get to a point of accepting and loving my whole self as I am (and still carry lingering anxieties), I have become that much more imposing and more audacious to let my presence be known as the beautiful Filipino, brown-skinned, Queer being that I am.
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