Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Sunday, February 26, 2012

In the Basement of the New Yorker Hotel

by Wayne Lee

Her head is made of plaster. She pokes
it through a tangle of broken mannequin parts

piled on the floor, surveys the wreckage
around her in the basement of the famous hotel—

art deco banquettes coated with dust, ottomans
losing their stuffing to the rats.

Her hair is chipped, one ear cracked, one eyebrow
gone—a definition of beauty no longer in vogue.

If she could rise, she would hover like a moon
over this rubble, dangling by chains overhead.

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