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Emmie Christie’s work includes practical subjects, like feminism and mental health, and speculative subjects, like unicorns and affordable healthcare. Her novel “A Caged and Restless Magic” debuts February 2024. She has been published in Daily Science Fiction, Infinite Worlds Magazine, and Flash Fiction Online, among others.


Trigger Warning

Success looks like crying at night
when you’ve overcome the ticking
of the clock, ever listing what it wants.
Success looks like combing your hair
in the white bright hospital lights,
struggling with the knots, with the thoughts of
“Is it worth the wait?” Success, it tastes
fake, when it rises like dough, hollow
and crispy and addicting like so, the motion
you reap comes from tears that you sow,
held back in your throat, the jokes that you grow.
Success is the scratch of a therapist’s pen,
the one you’re given for daring to fend
off the demons, for daring to dream
not of ifs, but of whens.
Success is the scent of apartments you rent,
the must and the rust of the todays you stopped
lending tomorrow, the leftover vodka of another
girl’s sorrow, from whom you don’t borrow,
no longer, no longer.
Success is the sense that you’ve made it
before you give in, that fingertip hold
that you’ve got on your grin—
Don’t let go, darling, it’s not fake or too late—!
The weight of the wait will not break your fate,
for even the stars shining so bright,
travel a long time before you see their light.

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