Last Love Letter to 5 A.M. |
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Last Love Letter to 5 A.M.

2010 Poetry Contest: Honorable Mention
Last Love Letter to 5 A.M.

You are the long hour before the alarm and endless
stream of infomercials, the hour I learned
cross-stitching and finally finished Moby-Dick.

You early-riser, late-to-bed, insomnia.
You are a dead-air AM dial, open-mouthed
moaning muffled in the next apartment.

5 a.m., I worry about you, how you'll hold out 
on caffeine and red vines as you slow shuffle
through morning breath, short tempers,

and elderly who take up booths in your diners.
Yes, there were times we shared the same
toothbrush. Yes, you once opened me like a book.

But let me say now how much I regret the nights
I spent wandering your empty boulevards
counting every streetlight flitter out,

those few nights that turned to many nights
when I couldn't sleep and your red-eye patrols
and morning editions were all the exercise I had.

You, Central Time, Mountain Time, Too Early.
You, a princess searching for some soporific fruit,
chamomile or hit of Ambien, fearful of the kiss.

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Casey Thayer received an MFA from Northern Michigan University. His poetry has appeared in American Poetry ReviewCrab Orchard ReviewSmartish Pace, and elsewhere. A Madison resident, Thayer is an assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Rock County in Janesville. 

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