For Glenn Raucher
My God! The man with long white hair
waiting for an elevator on the thirteenth floor
is Edgar Winter, blear-eyed from a night
spent raising the roof at the Fillmore East.
Maybe we’re seeing things, maybe we’re
still high on the Sixties. But no, it really
is him, Edgar Winter in the flesh. There
are calluses on his fingers, his pupils
are musical notes. We follow him
down to the small café off the lobby,
stand behind him in the buffet line,
and take the small square black table
adjacent to his, an intermittent cool
breeze blowing in through the window.
For a half hour we sip our coffee,
nibble on muffins, and out of the corners
of our eyes watch The Legend sip his,
simultaneously skimming through the Times.
They don’t believe in superstition here,
we remind ourselves, picturing him standing
before the window on the thirteenth floor,
Central Park below him, and beyond
Manhattan’s skyline, spectral and beautiful.
Superstition is as dead as the architect
of this old building and there is no such
thing as ghosts and this is Edgar Winter,
but when he pushes his long white hair
back, deposits his paper coffee cup
in a trash receptacle, and shuffles out
and disappears among the excruciatingly
New York faces floating down 63rd Street,
we are dismayed. Superstition is dead,
but everywhere we look there are ghosts.
Photo by Craig O’neal