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Mathew Lily Vogel

I cut my hair the other day,

watched in the mirror as it

fell to the ground

beneath my feet.


It had been long,

down to my waist –

girls are supposed

to wear their hair long.


Suffocating, tangled

and hot. When I cut it

they wept, lamenting the loss

of something so beautiful.



I was standing in the bathroom

that night, fingering the short strands

when she came up behind me

smiling, took me by the waist

and told me I was handsome.

Mathew Lily Vogel is a nonbinary half Vietnamese artist and poet attending Virginia Commonwealth University for Communication Arts and Creative Writing. Growing up with a shaky and at times complex family situation, they’ve turned to art as a means of working through their own emotions and feelings regarding themselves, their family, and the world around them. Now, they mostly focus on the visual arts but write poetry and short stories on the side both for pleasure and in hopes of one day being published. Most of their work revolves around their personal life, including their experiences with gender dysphoria, LGBT+ relationships, mental illness, and familial struggles. This is their debut poetry publication.

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