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Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Night Thresher


The spotlights create a glowing dome of feed corn
and if not for the highway to the east zippering up
the center of the state and the orange flicker
of the refinery’s tower along the river
it would be easy to think yourself the only person
alive, how you felt in the Sea of Japan aboard
a Zumwalt Destroyer, seeing the piercing
stadium lights mounted on the squid fishing boats
to call up the strange creatures from the depths,
sharp as latent stars on water, emblazoned umbrellas
shielding the bow and stern until you were close enough
to see men in green slickers toiling with nets
and how close you felt to those strangers who also cut
the night in half for their jobs, then the flow of corn
beneath you delivers the flash of a fawn uncurling
from its nesting before it is taken into the whirling
blades and fills the Illinois night with its bleating.


  • Devin Murphy’s work has appeared in the Chicago TribuneGlimmer Train, the Missouri Review, and Shenandoah, as well as more than 60 other literary journals and anthologies.