Friday, February 21, 2014

Two Poems by Richard Schnap


He lived in the same place for years,
The same apartment, watching through
His window as the seasons passed by,
Like friends you would get to know
For only a brief time before they would
Move on forever, like the neighbors

In the other rooms who stayed a year
Or two, the old lady who chain-smoked
Marlboro 100's, the Japanese girl
Who never spoke, the woman who
Wore a fully decorated Christmas tree
As a holiday costume.  And over time,

He grew to realize that we are all
Tenants in the world, paying rent
With the sweat and tears of our labors
And loves, but destined to leave
The houses of our bodies eventually,
The houses we've grown to call home.


A stranger with no shadow
Came to me last night

He offered me a key
That would unlock any door

I asked why he was here
He said "You called for me in your sleep,"

And then I remembered
The dream of a realm of cages

With prisoners who all wore
The exact same mask

And sang the same song
The one with one note

But when he asked me "Well?"
I sent him away

For I recalled the secret
The wise man builds his own cell

Richard Schnap is a poet, songwriter and collagist living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  His poems have most recently appeared locally, nationally and overseas in a variety of print and online publications.

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