through the sweltering heat of southern Missouri

how did we get here?
on this parade route,
after a 10-story atrium,
all in red, right or wrong.

slow-moving cotton.
fast moving crimson.
a real reindeer,
and a rich, white lady with her own problems, probably. 

a glass elevator.
an average age.
the mall in the distance,
and me, muted math.

there are a few mall Santa look-alikes.
there are silly hillbillies.
sluts and vacation slaves,
one poet per thousand years.

before Kentucky.
before this gig.
smirking in the smell of summer,
admiring my unique point-of-view.

you would've had to see it.
to believe it. 
trust and turtles,
people's beliefs on full display.