By Xexal, 19

I am the first-born child in my family
Meaning, my parents planned to have me
But were worried when I was born
Because an instruction manual
Didn’t follow after me from the womb…
They were forced to learn to love me
Like they were supposed to…
Meaning, they were as lost as I was

Without a mouth to talk and two legs to walk
I’m not saying that I didn’t have a good childhood
Up until when I started to cocoon into myself
To birth who I felt I wanted to be

It was smooth sailing
It was only after I took an Etch-a-Sketch to their final project
That was deemed as a job well done
See, I learned from kid Icarus
Not to fly too close to the sun
So I stopped going to church every Sunday
That maybe my parents would see my insubordination
As free will instead of rebellion

The unknown—
You always fear what you don’t understand
But there’s a choice that comes after
Fight or flight
Run back to the 3-story house you call a home
Or throw me a lifeline and trudge with me
Through my grit and grime
Maybe that Chrysler 300 can turn on a dime
But I can’t seem to get your time of day
‘Cause you see me walking down a long and lonesome road
But tell me to get off of it
To follow the yellow brick road to Jesus
And I’ll live in Emerald City with the Great and Powerful Oz
But these lies are locked like the boot of a car
For too many unpaid parking tickets
And maybe I don’t have a heart filled with courage
Or a head full of knowledge
So I’m left to the Wicked Witch
Of the path that I’m on right now

And it’s not like you can’t learn to love me
That’s not it, you did it before
But now it’s a little harder to love me
It’s… uncomfortable…
You see me as a rose in your garden
But don’t pick me ‘cause I come with a couple thorns on the side
As if to say the scars you left me with
Aren’t a signature from your own thorns

I mean I hate to break it to you
But sometimes you make me feel like an orphan
One in reverse order of natural adoptions
First you saw me, didn’t quite know how to love me
But knew deep down in your virgin hearts that I was yours to claim

And as time went on, you did love me
Like I came right from your womb

And as time went on, you had a serious loathing
For my unconformity to your portrait family picture
You grew distant… cold…

So I ran farther, hoping my trail would go cold, too
Every action has an equal but opposite reaction
I hope you’ve learned from my pain
Because no child should ever feel like an orphan