Subtropical Port Cities

Poetry / Emily Connelly

Magnolias line the driveway.
When they bloom, I am outside,
barefoot, waiting to bruise.

I learned to fear the things more lovely than me.
I learned to hate the things I fear.
I learned to cope is to tame and to tame is to prune.

See how the branches fall on concrete.
How wild things are made to look fragile indoors.
How tenderness is lost after wilting.

My mother only smooths my hair
when she is upset with me.
Which is to say: we want to make things pretty
before we give up on them.

Emily Connelly is a marketer by trade, poet by occasion, and perpetual Coloradan (regardless of actual geographical location). She is the author of a chapbook, Southern Belle, Invasive Species, and was a founding member of the University of Colorado Boulder’s inaugural spoken word poetry team, which competed at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in 2014. She currently lives in New York City.