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I’m on a rowing machine in a gym I can’t afford
and a man sits down on the waterless boat
next to me. Another man with biceps
stands
to the left and yells Faster, Carl at him.
The man next to me goes faster.
Faster, Carl. I go faster.
Come on, Carl. The man next to me is trying.
Do it, Carl. I feel like I’m doing it.
Do it better, Carl. The man next to me stops.
Keep going, Carl. My arms feel like concrete.
Stop thinking, Carl. Become air. Watch the sky.
Slap the day. Remember this is temporary
.
The man next to me leaves.
Keep going, Carl. Keep going, Carl.
Keep going
.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

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