Published on Academy of American Poets (


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.


From Temper by Beth Bachmann. Copyright © 2010 by Beth Bachmann. Used by permission of University of Pittsburgh Press.


Beth Bachmann

Beth Bachmann is the author of Do Not Rise (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015), winner of the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Day di Castagnola Award. She teaches creative writing at Vanderbilt University.

Date Published: 2010-01-01

Source URL: