Green Hills Literary Lantern

 

 

 

Ghost-Hunting at the Alexandria Hotel

 

 

Black paint on the carved banisters

persists in its slow curl into air,

while the open, upstairs ballroom—

where Valentino once skulked,

where Paul Whiteman’s band once played—

tilts with the dusty stench

of spent cigarettes and echoes

of echoes of gone midnight dances.

Below, in the lobby’s rich whisky perfume,

residents shuff on linoleum that once

was marble and fade in amber

light thrown from replacement chandeliers.

The ghosts we seek are more substantial.

And the few, thin words

we manage to pass, each to each,

fall through the halls’ thick air

full of scuff and dust and hair and the waft

of less comprehensible human remains.

 

 

 

Lisa Verigin's poems have appeared in Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, Court Green, Bloom, American Literary Review, New York Quarterly , Chiron Review, Talking River and other literary journals, and her articles on poetic craft have appeared in The Writer. She holds an MFA from Georgia State University, a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and is currently co-owner of a media and IT business.