Penelope Weiss

How to Make a Wire Bird

Take a wire hanger from your closet.
Bend it so it forms a bird-like shape.
Your bird will emerge in a different form each time.
Your bird may even speak to you through your hands.

Will your bird stand on a table or other smooth surface?
Will your bird morph into a flat shape and fly to the ceiling
on some fishing line or a small rope?
Will it pick up beads in its beak and ask you to decorate its body?
Some birds will say yes to all these things. Others are more modest.

Will your bird fly? Possibly.
Is your bird sacred? Possibly.
Who am I to say?

My Brother, Victor

In his 20s my brother, Victor, was a serious chess player.
He also haunted those porno movie theaters on 42nd Street.
He said the films balanced the chasteness of chess.
By that time he weighed about 300 pounds.

One night I saw Victor and a friend walking down the street.
She was almost as fat as he was and about an inch taller.
What was it about him that was so attractive to chess nuts
and dancing queens?

A few months later Victor told me
he was moving out of our apartment.
Where are you going? I asked him.

He said, Wall Street. I said, What?
He said, A condo downtown and a job on Wall Street.
They like my chess moves and they also produce films.
I haven’t seen him since.

Penelope Weiss was born in 1942. She grew up in New York City and now lives in Shrewsbury, Vermont with her husband, John Davis. Storiana, her collection of stories, was published by Casa de Snapdragon Press and is available on Amazon.
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