The Oars Are Heaviest For Nine Year Olds

There are heavy boats in the distance
arranged like mannequins
by the sea.
I am still under the illusion
that I folded them into existence
hesitantly, fingering each crease
for errors.

There are blue tremors,
and a distinct lack of nine-year old fingers
tracing boat rides in household waters.

Rowing away always seemed like
the only respite so I
dreamed, re-dreamed, un-dreamed
in fickle attempts to align myself
with seas, sails, winds, waves,
longing for the tripping touch of brine
at the tip of my tongue.

It keeps retracing itself like boat rides
from nine years ago, and comes back
in acute reflections.

Again, there are
two hands on a red hull, not made entirely
of paper. here, an old wraith resurrects
itself with some difficulty, creeps closer,
then says
your biggest mistake is vacillation.

Yet, I vacillate, palpitating resident
of two realities that exist as exacting folds of
a boat that is not a boat, but
a carrier of masquerading storms.

I have always convinced myself otherwise, but

I am the storm,
the storm is me.

there is no alternate reality.

– Swastika Jajoo

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