Object of Life

The butterfly had loved being

a caterpillar, growing fat

on tomato leaves, the sun

warm as forever on its back.


Some days the job is simple:

mistake dying for living.

Master this, and the next thing

you know, you have wings,


crave food insubstantial as nectar,

feel the pull of migration like

gravity pulling along the Y axis.

The butterfly forgets


how the caterpillar loved

the caterpillary life,

the way a man forgets that

sublimate begins with sublime—


it doesn’t end there—

as any monarch could tell

if it weren’t lost

in a black and orange cloud


of longing.


R.G. Evans’s book Overtipping the Ferryman, won the 2013 Aldrich Poetry Prize. His poems, fiction, and reviews have appeared in Rattle, Paterson Literary Review, The Literary Review and Weird Tales, among other places. Evans’s original music, including the song “The Crows of Paterson,” was featured in the 2012 documentary All That Lies Between Us. Evans teaches Language Arts at Cumberland Regional High School and Creative Writing at Rowan University