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Dear Mercury,

I know how it feels to be a body

in retrograde. Moving backward,

disoriented from the rest of humanity,

even as you wish to move forward:

Face the future. Until, one day, you discover

you’ve been traveling in circles the entire span

of your long life and are only now noticing at all.

Trust me.

I’ve been in that same position before, too. Pay no mind

to the strangers shaming you for the arc of your orbit from

43 million miles away, believing your natural motion is to blame

for every little misfortune that falls their way. Keep turning,

spinning. Those days and weeks and years will blur together:

Trace the future. They’ll lead you to the moment in time

when you discover that, despite your fixed place in space,

you have come                       so far

since the birth

of our universe.

Susan L. Lin is a Taiwanese American storyteller who hails from southeast Texas and holds an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. Her novella Goodbye to the Ocean won the 2022 Etchings Press novella prize, and her short prose and poetry have appeared in over fifty different publications. She loves to dance. Find more at

Radon Journal Issue 6 cover art
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