Being Yonder
poetry by Jay Butler

Like the blood pumping in my thigh’s spider veins
while consulting my scars, I believe 
in critiquing devastation as well as bliss

and if God can't get that 
then I don't want God’s likeness.
The way the light and the dark 

green merge between the underside of the camellia
and the sky between each leaf, I think 
of my Gran, how her brain 

became caterpillar chewed foliage. 
It's called branch dieback, or how
the runnels on leaves streak 

like rivers and lightning.
Is the earth round because eyeballs are
or is it the other way around?

Blake’s grain of sand is my water bug 
skimming a pond—the pond, both
natural and unnatural, the tension 

nets each leg
to the surface's vast 
cloudy glare.

Jay Butler is a poet and writer from the North Carolina foothills of Appalachia who earned his BA in History & Creative Writing from Appalachian State University. He is currently enrolled in the MA program at Portland State University, where he was the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Award, as well as other awards and scholarships. He is currently co-editor in chief of Portland Review and his creative work
has been featured in the Academy of American Poets, Appalachian Review, and Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, among other literary outlets.

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