“Our Moroccan Pouffe” by Charles D. Tarlton

From my chair beside the Moroccan leather pouffe,
                                                            I can see an uncountable
avalanche of objects—and suppose I try to list them—

          an pseudo-antique mahogany Tansu chest topped
          with family photos in cheap gilt frames, an open
          appointment book, three ceramic coasters
          painted by hand in Mexico, two miniature
          carved figurines, a tiny plastic flashlight
          and, alongside the chest, a chinoiserie
          vase in blue and white porcelain and a
          carved wooden Buddha’s bust, bought
          in an Oakland second hand store, once
          painted in now peeling gold and blue…


My aspect has hardly altered. All of this and more crowds
into my single glance, and there’s still the rest of the room
unfocussed,
                         and a house made of many other rooms
right after that, and then the whole of the outdoors,
yards and trees, the distant marsh, eventually the sea!
For every green cockatoo imagined there’s an endless reach
of plain hardwood flooring, countless pictures hanging
on the dull walls, carpets and blinds and curtains
and, out beyond those, a world unfolding forever.




Charles D. Tarlton is a retired professor of political theory who lives in Northampton, Massachusetts with his wife, Ann Knickerbocker, an abstract painter. He has been writing poetry and flash fiction since 2006, and a collection of his ekphrastic prosimetra, Touching Fire (Kyso Flash, 2018) is available on Amazon.