hamartia

Beth Bachmann

the way to utter hallelujah is to err doesn’t everyone

have one bird they like better than the rest me

the one with the mouth full of a myth of milk the tail

like a lyre a trill that seems to change direction as it rises and falls

as in perfect fire the only way to do it is as though

you are choking and cannot quite say lord the bird in air

with long feathers that open and shut as a mouth in flight

to sin desire err Aristotle tells poets to live in houses

whose histories contain movement perfect tragedy

can only happen between friends hallelujah

what we imagined is nothing compared to what is

Read two more poems by Beth Bachmann in the Kenyon Review Sept/Oct 2015 issue, on sale now!

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