When in Rome

He spoke a language
No one understood
Not even himself

As if some being
Had stolen his voice
To make way for its own

That sometimes sounded
Like an overfed pig
Squealing for more

Or a chattering hen
That kept on conceiving
Poisonous eggs

But sometimes at night
When he was alone
He mourned what he lost

Before he became
A trained chimpanzee
Like everyone else

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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