Sébastien Luc Butler

               “Gelman Sciences used dioxane as a solvent while manufacturing medical-grade filter devices at
               its plant, which is no longer operational, near the sister lakes off Wagner Road on the border
               between Ann Arbor and Scio Township, north of Liberty Road. It’s estimated the company used
               850,000 pounds of the toxic chemical between 1966 and 1986, with most being discharged to soil,
               surface water and groundwater through seepage lagoons, land spray irrigation, and direct
               discharges at the site.”—MLive

reason / son / ray of sun                pour                your sweet light on me
rational / ration / rat / ion             poison
objectivity / object / i object
logic / log/ lo                                        lo                      & behold
                                                                   swing low     sweet chariot
                                                                                              sweet profit
prof / it / explain externality
                explain away the natal
argument / augment / what i meant was
augue / eschew / skew
body / of water
                                                  what i meant was
body / bo / dy / dye / die
                                                                   what’s dying
                                                                   the water?
                                                  what i meant was
                                  don’t worry
we throw back what we catch

body / bowed / bloom                   algae
                                                                   sewage into
                                                                                              fish lungs
                                                                                              fish meat
                                                                                              fish eat
                                                                                              worm into
                                                                                              flesh into
                                                                                              mouth into
                                                                                              stomach into
                                                                                              skin into
                                                                                              breath / shit into
                                                                   sewage into
                                                                   lake into
                                                                                   fish lungs
to end where one
                                                  what i meant was
                                                                                   there’s a jesus in the lake                multiplying fish heads
                                                                                   there’s a jesus at the plant              running all the graphs
                                                                                   there’s a lot of jesuses                       everywhere
                                                  what i meant was
dis / locate
dis / claim
dis / integrate
                                  dis / sociate
                                                  what i meant was
                                                                                   i am a trestle of water climbing towards heaven



SÉBASTIEN LUC BUTLER holds an MFA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Poe/Faulkner Fellow in poetry. His writing has been featured in The Michigan Daily and The Journal, and is forthcoming from Southern Indiana Review. Sébastien is the recipient of the 2021 Hopwood Award for Poetry. He hails from Dexter, Michigan, and currently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia.


The art published alongside this poem is by Anna Buckley.