Niagara by Bruce Bond

And then the husband, head bowed, eyes closed,
a tourist pamphlet in his lap, says,

bond
Bruce Bond. Courtesy of the author

did you know the green color of the water
is the color of the falls coming to an end.

And the bride says, you do not look good, love,
pale as an angel. Are you sleeping well,

eating well. Did you know, he says,
sixty tons of salt and rock flour drain

each minute, a foot each year, and in a thousand
lifetimes, there will be no falls at all.

And the bride takes the pamphlet from his hands
and folds it tenderly as if it were a thing

she loved and worried over. Did you know,
he says on the verge of sleep that never arrives,

the end of his sentence carried out to sea.
And the rainbow comes and goes according

to the clouds. And when it comes, the petals
of the cameras open, as they did just now.

And somewhere in a stranger’s photograph,
the man turns to the woman and says, did you

know. And she says, no, dear, I did not.
Or was it, yes, I did. Either way

her palm on his brow is a bridal veil
of water. It cures the sleepless, that sound.

It is the angel in the downpour, the coin
so old it passes faceless through our hands.

And with that, the couple vanishes.
And a thousand tons of mist rises and falls.

Source: Prairie Schooner, Spring 2018

Bruce Bond is the author of twenty-three books including, most recently, Immanent Distance: Poetry and the Metaphysics of the Near at Hand (U of MI, 2015), Black Anthem (Tampa Review Prize, U of Tampa, 2016), Gold Bee (Helen C. Smith Award, Crab Orchard Award, SIU Press, 2016), Sacrum (Four Way, 2017), Blackout Starlight: New and Selected Poems 1997-2015 (L.E. Phillabaum Award, LSU, 2017), Rise and Fall of the Lesser Sun Gods (Elixir Book Prize, Elixir Press, 2018), Dear Reader (Free Verse Editions, 2018), and Frankenstein’s Children (Lost Horse, 2018).  Presently he is a Regents Professor of English at University of North Texas.

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