Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the OperaLoaded eyelashes drop mascara onto immobile cheeks
Smoothed over the wrinkles of age by Botox beauty
Deceiving the eye with a mummified appearance
As the beautician wins with cosmetic cover-up.
Costumed with more than fig leaves sewn together
Dressed up for act one in the adornment of staged fashion
And a mask ready to be ripped off, exposing identity
Masquerading as the player of someone else.
The surgeon’s scalpel reveals a deeper beauty
In skin refashioned and a nose straightened to fit
As the phantom of his past disappears into thin air
And he lives but for tomorrow and a new beginning.
The curtains close on nothing but a puff of smoke
A personality secured with fine silk sutures.
September 2008
Thoughts on the impact of reconstructive surgery (and other attempts to improve appearance) on the psyche, after attending a performance of Phantom of the Opera.