Photo by Tanya Trofymchuk on Unsplash

[puppet show]

A poem by Alexis Choi

i am a puppet & the Universe pulls my strings. 

i am confined in a box— a stage, they said. 

(a cage, i say.) 

     sometimes the walls shrink: bones collapsing, 

fingers groping, 

claws scratching against chalkboard, 

     & i wonder if i am living in the maw of a slumbering creature. 

if i am trapped in the shifting jaws 

of Death. 

     every day, 

the Universe jerks me up, lifting me 

     with the same gnarled fingers that go 




to the strings of so many others. 

     every day, i grow restless as Time forgets to set its clock. 

as tomorrow becomes yesterday, i dream 

of smoke. of flashing teeth. of rebellions 

breathed into the night like jagged secrets 

for the stars to hear 

& no one else.

but i am a good puppet. 

i let myself wilt under the gaze of the world, let my limbs toss 

like skeletons as i dance beneath unforgiving fists. 

     i perform the same stage again & again & again, 

hoping that one day, i can escape this chilling echo of time. 

     hoping that one day, my invisible audience will applaud. 

hoping that one day, 

the curtains will go down 

& i can take a bow 








Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

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We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

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