Penelope Weiss

For a Man with Round Ears

I wonder.
Who is this person and what is he thinking?

Has he got a heart, a brain, a penis?
If he has all these things, what is he doing with them?

Right now, he seems unhappy, even angry.
Can he explain his feelings? 

Will it matter if he knows what he’s feeling?
I wonder.

Gone Are the Days

Striding on your widow’s walk, you dream of mortal combat.
You spar with ghosts, you feed your dogs.

At your table above Penobscot Bay, you’ll eat your dinner of whale meat.
Your grandson lives nearby. You won’t invite him to share your meal.

Armed with a blue cocktail, you’ll bow to a blue light on the water.
The dogs won’t let you jump off the cliff tonight.

Beyond Saturn

Here I am, speaking to you as you so cordially invited me to do on the 40th anniversary of my first flight into space. I won’t go into the tedious maneuvers we devised to keep ourselves afloat in our journey beyond Saturn’s rings. But, with your permission, I’ll recite a few words I wrote in my mental diary as I approached the capsule after a hard day on the end of a starry tether: Do fiery eagles ascend Mt. Rushmore? Do earwigs and rubaiyats float eternally above rivers? Does ether surround egrets who return to a swamp at midnight? And do alpine rubies alter reality? You may ask, What questions are these that mock the sense of the everyday and turn the little globe of your mind inside out? When you have seen earth from the chamber of space, you can’t remember the sense of the everyday. But I know that alpine rubies alter reality, that ether surrounds egrets who return to a swamp at midnight, that earwigs and rubaiyats float eternally above rivers, and that fiery eagles ascend Mt. Rushmore. Thank you.

Penelope Weiss grew up in New York City and now lives in Shrewsbury, Vermont. Storiana, her collection of stories, is available on Amazon.
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