The Hate Parade by Paul Edward Costa

The Hate Parade

The only ones watching the parade
are those wishing to join
              a procession of ritual purpose
              possessed by ecstatic expressions.

Observers won’t rush the floats
in mobs that spoil a desirable display
whose emergence and disappearance
no one sees
while too awestruck to move
and it’s a good thing they are;
anyone cursed with too clear,
                                 too direct
                                          trains of thought
finds the place from where the cavalcade comes
                            and where it eventually goes,
showing why such exaltation
                            and jubilation seize them
when they get to come out for a few hours,
                                                    feel the sun
and only be beset by blessed celebrations,
a relief to all except the few
by how crowds viciously kill
anyone who gets off
                            for acts of ingratitude
as they’re tormented
by staying so tantalizingly close to escape.

Those who can’t fake enough joy
wear mascot suits of another’s flesh
with permanently smiling
                            mouths stitched up
as city guards stay far back and watch
in fear
of what those too jaded
              to follow the parade might find
              if they unanchor their attention
                            from a perpetually moving spectacle
                            then wander off,
                                          unchecked and self-possessed.

Paul Edward Costa is a Canadian literary artist who has published over 60 stories and poems in literary journals worldwide. He is a full member of The League of Canadian Poets and has been the featured headliner at many poetry readings in the Greater Toronto Area. His flash fiction collection God Damned Avalon is available from Mosaic Press. He is a former Poet Laureate, hosts many poetry reading open mic events, and won the Mississauga Arts Council’s Emerging Literary Arts Award.

Image Credit: “Confetti parade,” abstract art [Linkin Park Association]