Poetry Self-Harm

Seven For by Xuan Nguyen

Seven for the seconds I live away from heaven
Seven for the times the gods will let the already-dead win
And seven are the times I have tried,
And been denied
                My entry to the door
                       that guards the first floor of heaven.

Seven for the seconds I die away from earth
And seven are the times that I have shirked
And gone berserk
                If only in my mind
                            which is between the gods and I.

Seven for the days that are numbered,
 The days I find without wonder,
                    And I wonder still,
                                 Who will die when I will?

Xuan Nguyen is a disabled, transgender, and Vietnamese-American writer and artist who does music as FEYXUAN. They focus on the intersections between transgender identity, divinity + monstrosity, and stigmatized mental and physical health. Their work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Rattle, Rogue Agent, and beestung. They have two upcoming chapbooks: LUNG, CROWN, AND STAR (Dec 2020, Lazy Adventurer) and THE FAIRIES SING EACH TO EACH (EST Dec 2020, Flower Press). Xuan can be reached through their websites at or