State Sonnets
poems by B.J. Best

"wanting to hate niagara falls"

it’s not the tourists, gauche in their day-glo
apparel; nor ontario with its better view;
rather, the same dumb story of how gravity chews
through everything. bridal veil falls throws rainbows
away like cheap streamers, like old haloes
the angels kick around. you get the gist.
for twelve dollars, we rode the maid of the mist,
where the air is so loud and swirled it may blow
your hat off. but the boat hung in the rage like a bird.

it’s easy to yearn to be captain, the head honcho
of your heart, engines churning vainly toward land.
—no way. the man in the barrel has the word
edgewise. in a photo, i’m dopey in my blue poncho
but i’m happy!: just look how i’m holding her hand.