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Thomas Devaney


The stories about God lay out the situation as well as anything.
We are made in God’s image and it shows.
Lightning is not a sign of God’s wrath. This is true
and good to know, but at its crackling heart
lightning is an expression of God’s speed.
Godspeed is the only prayer I know that makes sense.
So I offer it now — now go. Godspeed, I pray.

I don’t know the summer. I only know the heat in this room,
even with these fans; or the story of the man who sat down
in the middle of the sidewalk and never got back up.
I am not that man, though I am partly immobile.
The ice cream store is closed. There is no more sunscreen.
I sit and write to you. I do not have time to write you
a short letter, so I write you a long one.
Everything God has done he has done quickly.
Oceans were an idea, but the planet itself was not.
God’s miracles are as much as a surprise to the revolving-
             gendered-door of her as they are to us.

Thomas Devaney, photo by Aaron Igler

Thomas Devaney, photo by Aaron Igler

Thomas Devaney is the author of two poetry collections A Series of Small Boxes (Fish Drum) and The American Pragmatist Fell in Love (Banshee Press), and a nonfiction book, Letters to Ernesto Neto (Germ Folios). Performance projects include “The Empty House” at the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site for the Institute of Contemporary Art’s “The Big Nothing” (2004) and Tom Paine’s Pigeons with Sparrow in conjunction with Nadia Hironaka and Matthew Suib’s exhibition, Post-Revolutionary Selections from the Powel House Moving Image Archive (2010). He lives in Philadelphia and is the editor of ONandOnScreen (poems + videos) Thomas Devaney’s website is

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