Poem: I. But from here, 
I can see the door. 
I can see the floor 
of the first divide 
before the heavens’ demise, 
I will be the snake that swallows heaven wholly, 
I will swallow it holy, 
I will swallow it: Holy.) 
II. But from here, 
there is no more 
than the gild 
that surrounds me. 
Starling in a cage, 
who will you be? 
What will you sing? 
(Can you hear the fairies sing, 
each to each? 
Seed to futile seed?) 
They will never find the green. 
III. I have seen it. 
But I am a star in a cage. 
A house in the fen, 
I grew up in this swamp, 
a boy watching 
silken tree breeding silken moth, 
cocoons unraveling in clever fey-fingers, 
who sold their silks 
with bells and dead-ringers.
IV. In the Silverwood of 
the Crescent Court 
banking the swamp, 
I first saw red. 
I first raw fed. 

(When I rose from the remnants 
of viscera, 
my belly full of roses, 
The way the fairies looked at me 
was the way birds look 
at birds of a feather.) 
V. One day, I heard the fairies sing, 
A bird is a bird is a worm, 
upon the firmament of the kingdom of heaven. 
I held firm: 
I will be a serpent, if I must be a worm. 
VI. Unlike the fey, 
I have seen. 
I have found the green. 
Severin, oh, Severin. 
You know that the heavens 
will not win. 
I will be 
Ouroboros me. 
VII. Chevalier Lacandola, 
Will you do more than-- 
plead. When you know. 
When you know what I am. 
and everlastingly 
destined to be 
The world will not remember me. 
I have made art: I have a legacy 
of ripe blood, milk petal, and star scale.

But there have been others before me. 
And there will be others after me. 
None the same, 
but the same. 

VIII. I may die forgotten, 
but it doesn’t matter. 
It doesn’t matter, as long as I am seen 
by Holy. 
Holy is a mirror. 
Holy is what I will become. 
Holy is what I have won, 
and which you were given 
from the heavens, 
IX. In Holy, I will find: 
the shed-gold of gilt cage, 
the silver-eye of silk pearl, 
a mouth of venomous design, 
And a fate to match mine. 
X. A fate to match mine-- 
we shall see in time 
who becomes Divine.

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 Prismatica Magazine, Rogue Agent, and beestung. They have two upcoming chapbooks: LUNG, CROWN, AND STAR (Dec 2020, Lazy Adventurer) and THE FAIRIES SING EACH TO EACH (Nov/Dec 2020, Flower Press). Xuan can be reached through their website at feyxuan.com or on Twitter @feyxuan.

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