portion of the artwork for Neil de la Flor and Maureen Seaton's poem

The Ansonia Ghost
Neil de la Flor and Maureen Seaton

Erected between 1899 and 1904, [the Ansonia] was the first air-conditioned hotel in New York. [It] features an open stairwell that sweeps up to a huge, domed skylight. The interior corridors may be the widest in the city.—Wikipedia

He was gorgeous and sheepish yet alive with songs such as “falala” and “hoteedooo.”

Was it opera he was after or a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Babe Ruth or Enrico Caruso?

Wrapped in the cloak of his own destiny and singing to the other ghosts as he fell, he imagined himself free of voice and gargling, and it was in that spasm of silence that I found him, limp and struggling in his tulle skirt.

Please, I would say, in English, stay away from the stairwells. This place is just waiting to take you and you are so alive and pretty.

It was Tuesday, the day of the World Series. Ruth was up and Caruso was sending clowns into his head to distract him. It was 1927.

He leaned over the banister and, some say, toppled to his death from top to ground in five seconds with a very strange sound, like silk on whiskers.

He broke with an indefatigable smirk on his face, a rub of paint the wrong way, a slight blurring effect that made him glamorous.

His story began as so few have, in Italian (Vesti la giubba) with a pop fly and a He’s …… out!

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 29 | Summer 2010