Penelope Weiss

The Plan for Yucca Mountain

One day, in a century of bad signs, 
I signed a plan for Yucca Mountain 
in my own blood with a cactus pen I burned 
to prevent a lawsuit by the people 
of the town of Can’t Remember. 
I can’t remember who asked me 
or why anyone would have asked me.
It might have been because long ago 
I said something that people took to their hearts. 
But those words, those words I must have said, 
are buried in radioactive silence 
beneath the town of Can’t Remember.

A Poet of the Streets

One night, when I was young, I had a dream. 
I was a white flower in a field of black and white flowers. 
Dogs rushed onto the field. They didn’t touch the white flowers, 
but they tore up the black flowers. 
I was terrified of the dogs as they rampaged through the field. 
But the surviving black flowers radiated a beauty so strong 
the dogs knelt before them. I was stunned, I was thrilled. 
I wanted to tell everyone about the beauty of the black flowers. 
After several nights of dreaming the same dream,
I began to recite it in subway cars and on street corners.
I tried to evoke its fear and its beauty,
but I wasn’t sure I could make people understand. 
Some people smiled. Some gave me money. Others just ignored me.
Am I naïve? Am I even a poet? I don’t know. 
But I’m not sorry for trying to explain the dream.

Tattoo Step (Red)

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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