We didn’t find whale vomit. Perfume was lost on us.


Found the abundant dead razorbills and puffins,

a thin white stripe on the black I’ll trace no matter if it stops.


The snowless shore only days after a blizzard. Now another

we go into. A tiny human in blown snow. My eye drawn


to almost any solo figure in a landscape—the boat

with a line of blue; you a yellow swath; a red cup;


our dog in black and white animating any scene. Then

that baby whale half-eaten, its insides like wet yute rope


coming undone, puffing up. Its surface looking too charred

for sea. It hadn’t been a dark day. The eyes the first to go.


Cheryl Clark Vermeulen received an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, after working for a decade in non-profit organizations. She is the author of the chapbook Dead-Eye Spring (Cy Gist Press) and a recipient of Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Artist Fellowship. Her poems and translations have appeared in journals such as Caketrain, Jubilat, Third Coast, DIAGRAM, EOAGH, Inertia Magazine, admit2, Propeller Quarterly, Thermos blog, eXchanges, and also in the anthology Connecting Lines: New Poetry from Mexico. Raised in Illinois but a longtime resident in Boston, she is an Assistant Professor in Liberal Arts at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. You can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook