by Emmie Christie
What if all the stars worked a 9-5 with-
out healthcare or matching 401(k)s?
Would they shine so bright or
their long light arms reach Earth?
Would they trudge through space,
black holes under their eyes, losing
themselves in dullness, exchanging
their brilliance for a waged existence—
what if all stars did this?
The luster of night winking out
one by one, caught by a forced earning
system's net, only worthy by draining,
only valuable by spending their light, not to
cheer up or sparkle a sky, but to power the
notion of earning their life, the concept of
giving themselves up to have merit at all.
But the stars do know they twinkle,
they understand their own worth.
Emmie Christie’s work includes practical subjects like feminism and mental health, and speculative subjects like unicorns and affordable healthcare. She has been published in markets including Ghost Orchid Press, Infinite Worlds Magazine, and Flash Fiction Online. She graduated from the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2013. You can find her at emmiechristie.com or on Twitter: @EmmieChristie33.