Half Poem

After the war all that remains
reads as half scribbles of the half dead

language. I stop to eat an empanada,
half butterfly, by the lapping waves

& salivating dogs. Let the poem be the place
we touch our other halves, somewhere

between the parcels carried,
her cotton bag & face—Who is it you

remember? On 9th street half a sandwich
bares its chest to the public.

No sparrow. No hungry child. Only
half a gesture to feed the people

this country’s long forgotten.
Half a history spreads over

our dining table in waxy scratches,
its grooves undoing the swinging

door. Like you’ve lived here before.
Let the poem be the place

the ghost half haunts & rages at how
we’ve made of the tree—

rain, soil, light—a weapon
with which to close upon

the quiet, half-lit slivers
longing for nothing.

Copyright © 2018 Maya Pindyck. This poem was originally published in Quarterly West. Used with permission of the author.