Some things are damned to erupt like wildfire,
windblown, like wild lupine, like wings, one after
another leaving the stone-hole in the greenhouse glass.
Peak bloom, a brood of blue before firebrand.
And though, it is late in the season, the bathers, also,
obey. One after another, they breathe in and butterfly
the surface: mimic white, harvester, spot-celled sister,
fed by the spring, the water beneath is cold.
“Temper” first appeared in Ploughshares, Winter 2008-2009.