We pulled back, every fifth
Of the way, stretching our hands
Out, like he told us. No stopping,
By all means, "Continue!"
So that the rhythm doesn't sink.
The course is long, longer
Than it should be, for practice's sake
And the islands shift out of sight.
Of course I'm the only one
Who's tired now, the oars burning
Into my palms-he says coconut oil's
The only cure- as I tighten my grip,
Give a little more power. Sometimes,
I give too much and droplets of foul
Water splash over us, but I'm never
As soaked as number 1. And so, when
We reach the jetty, our arms wrestling
Against some unknown, uncalled for fatigue,
She's usually cussing. Poor Sejal, stuck
With someone who never learnt technique,
Never mastered speed nor ever, not even once