Beth Bachmann


No shepherds. No nymphs. Maybe just one:
the girl the fawn strips like a fisherman’s rose.
Death turns its mouth red. It can no longer lie
in the lilies. Not on my watch. The lake is filthy
with silver fish sticky with leeches. Lovesick,
I flick a feather into the water. No stones.
Only the one in my pocket, heavy as a tongue.

Beth Bachmann
“Elegy” first appeared in American Poetry Review, 37:2.