Butler, Tenn. by Andrew Butler

From the Od French boutellier: a cup-
bearer, one who keeps stock of the king’s wine,
before if came to mean a handful of men
and the mud at the bottom of Watauga Lake.
When the TVA loosed the dam, most moved,
dug up what they could find of their dead, trucks 
filled with the rattle of mismatched bones
carried to a new Butler. 
                                      Seventy years later
I book a pontoon boat and Banjo Ridge
through alakecabin4u.com and get drunk
on boxed wine, think of the far-off places I’m from
and what it is to drown. It’s easy to tell 
your own story to a washed-out name 
on the wrong grave. It’s easy to claim a flooded town
when you’re floating over its sunlit surface.

Andrew Butler grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee, and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas, where he is a Harrison/Whitehead Founders' Fellow. His work has appeared in Aethlon and Hobart.

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