Thirty-Five to Thirty-Six Buoys

A buoy floats in the bathtub. It is red with white
stripes; for the most part, it is red.
Close-by another buoy floats, this one turquoise,
with a bit of orange. There are thirty buoys
in the bathtub, each the size of my hand, or yours.

There is a buoy on my bed.
It is life-sized, and my bed buckles
under its weight. The buoy is completely yellow.
It looks beautiful in the late afternoon light.
It is damp, like you, after your shower.

I lie down to dream of you, but there is no space.
So I go to the living room to try the couch,
but the living room is crammed with giant,
life-sized buoys: I’d estimate four or five,
though I’m drunk and can’t say for sure.

One buoy is orange and has your name
stenciled on its side. It leans against the sofa
precariously – I worry it will fall and wake
the man downstairs. Another buoy smells
like the day we drove to the sea.

In fact, my entire living room smells like the sea.
I inch to the curtains, to part them, but it takes hours
to get there because the buoys take up so much space.
When I finally open them, it is late at night
and nothing remains of the world outside my window.