On a house that floats we sink
into the couch cushions,
lost change beneath us.
Almost settled on the ocean floor
we try to buoy each other saying,
Not a life, not a life, not yet a life.
Outside, a frigate bird on the deck,
halting steps like that of a child,
hooked beak holding the dead
body of a small fish, mutilated.
We are nothing if not unsure.
Beneath this tide of heavy fog
our decision lists into the sea.
By morning we’ll be afloat again,
or something we call floating.
You show me the pills, a tissue
full of clotted blood, describe
the cramping, how it surged
and then faded as the full moon
tugged its blanket back out to sea.
At night I feel the waves return,
caressing the hull like a parent’s hand
smoothing a boy’s unruly hair.