Five A.M.
by Kathryn Wagner


yellow blades slice
glassy river straight and
clean as a silk shirt's crease.

small sharp breaths
gulp morning love, the pain
a kind of grace, a grace
that whittles the mind
to the whisper of the stroke.

oars balanced between stillness
and movement, control and ecstasy
like your coiled body just before
it uncoils into mine.

____

memory surfaces with the first
cars along the Charles River
and I become: the oars you pull
toward your breasts; the twist

of handles chafing; your glance
behind as you weave among
the varsity fours and eights; the
breastbone of the shell gliding,
gliding.








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