Beth Bachmann


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.