David Anthony Sam – Half-life – 3

 Half-life
by David Anthony Sam

I break my pieces finer,
add the ocean,
and with a brush of decay
wash my canvas 
into a becoming.

Pigments made of days
lost into creation
make hues that tremble
like sunlight
beneath October leaves.

Syllables respoken
make the song
that he once painted
by a guitar burned
with her naked silhouette.

Glass blown
with the right colors
and shattered into
the shards that lens
me liquid insight.

Half and half again
the fragments mosaic
me a different same
face and name,
prismatic division.

See the colors of these
voices, dreamedged
into being again.
The canvas fills
as I begin to empty.

The rush of wave to me
breaks color white,
pieces healed then
laid along my shore
in seaweed script.

You watch my portrait
kaleidoscoping
as I turn and turn–
shards becoming pattern,
then splintering again.


David Anthony Sam, the proud grandson of peasant immigrants from Poland and Syria, lives in Virginia with his wife and life partner, Linda. Sam’s poetry has appeared in over 90 publications and his poem, “First and Last,” won the 2018 Rebecca Lard Award. Sam’s five collections include Final Inventory (Prolific Press 2018) and Finite to Fail: Poems after Dickinson, the 2016 Grand Prize winner GFT Press Chapbook Contest. He teaches creative writing at Germanna Community College and serves on the Board of the Virginia Poetry Society.