Masquerade by Jake Fournier

   The dipper drinks the darkened broth.
A friend’s drunken silhouette has cut
Through the anonymity of the crowd.
     The other stars like shade
   And warping shadow on a scrim
Collect the minds of the disinterested
   Whose smoke escapes the masquerade.

   Not what we are, but that we’re not
Ourselves, achieves an evening of affect
And musky color palette: crimson, black.
     “And does he wear a mask?”
   The moon, our hostess, loves the wit
While her husband twirls his mustache as if
   Its being real could counteract.

   A feather in a knot of hair
Funnels attention from a low-backed dress.
As a mask activates when worn or egress
     Transforms a set of stairs
   The mind requires this pinion there
Or interest dissolves in atmosphere;
   In plumage, one plume despairs.