Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Actor -- Thomas Snapp

Say you were the kid who could not sleep
In the new house in the north, with the wind
Flapping roof shingles, window banging softly
And tub humming for rain, the outside soft with moon,
And the man in the door looking into that softness—

Would you not follow? Out to the road
To hunch along the dark fringe as he walks
In a trance through the years rising like sand,
Falling back to leave him quickened
With each step, until he finds the old road
Leading to a concrete slab poured and forgot
By someone with a cottage in his head.

You crouch in fern and northern orchids.
He climbs onto the gray square,
Bows to the footweeds, and begins
A monologue. As he intones old names,
The man he was lives with his friends
In the shape of bulbs in the night
And posters curling in basements.

You are afraid for him, for yourself,
For all those players who rehearse their lines
In the trees beyond the city. As he
Storms with mad verse the indifferent air,
Something like night moves through the weeds.

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