No Phantom at the Masquerade

This carnival costumed caprice
prim carousels, unbridled prides,
prancing bouts in blithe disguise

lacing feathers, baubles, bells,
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 her Phantom but this man
composed, conducting all he can,

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

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

within the opera of her voice
and by the blessing of her choice.
And then I might at last rejoice.

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

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Entered as a pre-write in a 2nd Challenge (Gothic Love):

Originally written for the Masquerade Ball challenge - prompt link: . This submission did not get through; a second attempt (resulting in a second instance of this poem) succeeded.  To differentiate, that poem has an additional word in the title: No Phantom at the Masquerade BALL.
Submitted: July 1, 2019