Mayor Buddy Dyer welcomes me
back to the City Beautiful,

the city magical, mythical,
the fantasy land,

town of scientific marvels
& facade;

but the gateway to the
happiest place on Earth

still feels like high school suicide
to me.

I wait for my mother to circle back around,
the arrivals pick-up line another age-long queue

for an “encounter” with her daughter.

Forget the Studios, these
are the longest lines around.

I wait with twin overweight blonde women
in matching tye dye vacation shirts
and virgin walking shoes;

several families of eight or more
half on the verge of a breakdown;

two bros in a high five
shifting to a hand hold
squeezing two beats long.

I’m so jealous of everyone else’s Orlando,
where people let their guard down
hypnotized, tired out, sweaty—

The secondhand buzz of their excitement
the closest to comfort I can get

watching out the Hyundai window
as my parents drive back
to our generic Florida

Selena Cotte is a poet, journalist, media scholar & shapeshifter living in Chicago by way of Orlando. Her work has been published in journals such as Hobart, Juked Online, Olit, Honey Literary, and others. She can be found online @selenacotte wherever you think that may work.