No Phantom at the Masquerade Ball

This carnival's costumed caprice:
prim carousels, unbridled prides,
with prancing bouts in blithe disguise

enlacing feathers, baubles, bells
round ribboned necks, corralling limbs
three-quarter time to wind clockwise

and all I find are not her eyes
to mirror back my unmasked love
above this craven masquerade.

As long the waltzing warms the night
delay this dance deliciously
that she might soon appear to me

receive me where I really stand,
not as some phantom but this man
composed, conducting what he can,

enchanting evening with sweet song,
and hopeful he might still belong
- if only she'd peer past his face,

accept the blemished, not displace
grand arias within his soul
yearning to be heard, made whole

within the opera of her voice
- but, by the blessing of her choice.
And then, at last, I would rejoice.

No Phantom at the Masquerade Ball © Copyright 2021, Robert J. Tiess.

View this poem at

Masquerade Ball challenge - prompt link: .

This poem (without Ball in the title) also appears a day earlier in my feed because the challenge submission didn't go through properly at the time.  This is my second (and thankfully successful) submission attempt.  The earlier poem was submitted as a pre-write for another challenge, and so I am not deleting that (for now).
Submitted: July 2, 2019