Spectres

Inspired by Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 13 in E-Flat Major, Op. 27, No. 1, “Quasi una Fantasia”: III Adagio con expressione.

Die eine Orange war das einzige Licht, Egon Schiele (CC PDM 1.0)

The person with whom you are dancing
No longer looks you in the eyes,
But even so,
You are afraid of what spectral vacancy
Would be seen there,
Expressionless as blank paper.

You long for a deeper peace,
For your heart to find unity
With another.
But the sun no longer filters through the ballroom windows,
Limned by haloes of dust.
Only the whispery silver-blue shadows of winter trees,
Arms gaunt and cold,
Uncertain without their coats of leaves,
Lifting in a benediction slowly,
Are in your periphery.

Haunted by yearnings,
You long for past joys, the ease of harmony,
Like those fantastical dreams
Woven into your childhood,
Held in the soul, your inner light,
Sparkling with the dewy-eyed hope of youth;
By now, you thought those dreams
Would be achieved.

Every step is graceful and exacting,
And lilting though the music may be,
Trilling lightly as falling flakes of snow,
The steps are discordant.
Airily, gossamer skirts and black shoes,
Softest fabrics of silk, gold jewels,
Waltz across the floor,
Weighted only by hearts, wistful
For the bittersweet days of yore,
Effortless grace, intangible beauty,
Ethereal whispers of a dream,
Are wearying.