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Masquerade!!! (Poem)


(Photo by: Christal Yuen)



I hear the swell of the orchestra
But I cannot dance with you.
The music that once was sublime is now raucous and shrill
And my body is worn and my soul is tired

I see the finery
Men in long tails with trimmed fingernails
And women with jewels in their hair
Both wearing masks to hide their true expressions
With ever vigilant gazes as the speak behind fancy paper fans

Peackcock feathers and gloves made of leather
And wine glasses of clear cut crystal
And I, the pauper, beggar, the show stopper
Not welcome to the masquerade ball

It’s dangerous in here
When men have daggers for eyes
And pistols are clutched tight in women’s hand bags
The air is thick with anticipation

For one slight misstep, misspoken absent remark
And someone is murdered right out in plain sight
And the music stops for a second, for the conductor to look fashionably surprised before the music strikes up once again

No, no, we can’t have this
This isn’t beautiful or lovely or glorious
As the body is drug away
And the blood runs red on the dance floor

And in shock and wonder I look down at my feet
And see that I am no better than the rest
Tired as I may be, as bitter as I am
I feel the blade in my own sharp gaze
So I might as well dance, and spin with all my might
Because I too, wear crimson red shoes.