The first time I saw him he was standing
in front of the Iranian embassy
with his mother, or with whom I assumed
was his mother. She wore a black bonnet
like a black flower. He wore a black
frock coat and a beige collar high
under his chins. His linen
was unimpeachable. His hat
high and mighty. Mother and son seemed
to be communicating mentally, like flowers.
The next time I saw him was at the
horticultural park. His cravat was crisp
and severe as a lily. I followed him
out onto the street. He wore
a panegyric trifle in gold across his chest,
and a truffle with ruffles snapped
across his midsection. His shapely mother,
or who I assumed was same, stood beside him,
with a black lace parasol and a faded carnation.
A parade passed by, and I lost sight of them,
a parade led by a marching band
with plumed hats and flashing brass angles—
and in its midst, a float in the shape of a giant
gentleman made of flowers, his blue frock cut
from foxgloves by expert tailors,
and he loomed unsteadily above
the sparks and metal of the street.
Geoffrey Nutter is the author of three collections of poetry, including A Summer Evening (winner of the 2001 Colorado Prize), Water’s Leaves & Other Poems (winner of the 2004 Verse Press Prize), and Christopher Sunset (Wave Books April 2010). His new book, The Rose of January, will appear in late spring 2013 with Wave Books. His poems have been widely anthologized, including in The Best American Poetry, The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries and Isn’t It Romantic: 100 Poems by Younger American Poets. He is an associate professor of creative writing at New York University.