Clark A. Pomerleau


(listen to the poem, read by the author)

If I died soon
the autopsy would not reveal the real causes.
Let fire reduce the body to ash
rather than subject a corpse to restorative art.

But ask my masseuse
who remembers the tension
where muscles tried to protect trauma
Ask the dentist
who crowned teeth set on edge
ground down
Ask the specialist who deadened nerves
in their wiggly tentacles
Bring in the dermatologist
to assess the rashes
where pressure erupts.

The body writes what it knows
on itself
telling the container’s story
when the contents are too composed to say.

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Vapors’ Cold, Crashing Balm

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

Vapors’ cold pulls tears to the surface
diamonds of loss frozen in place
weighing down every blade
a dazzling field in the shade

Face dawn; run burning legs to thaw
Dew evaporates in the heating day
Fog dissipates with the sunny ray
So too might grief withdraw.

Flee to the woods as balm
for stings of life disconnected from living
Rest in deep leafy soil’s calm
inwardly composting forgiving

The murmur of trees above and below
connects their beings like a river’s flow
urging return to the stream of relation
Yet how do we evade capsizing negation?

For now, I will dream of Ponderosas
spiraling terribly in place
tipping, crashing, crushing losses
that—even felled—retain majestic grace.

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The House Breathes Again

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

The house breathes again
a gasp of resurfacing
after holding her breath
such a long silent time
that house lungs burned
buried in the crush of things

The house breathes again
as if for the first time
this new inhalation
fresh air fills lungs
freed of congestion

The house sighs
air cleared
to move freely again
room to stretch
space to relax
or invite in better days.

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Please visit this issue’s Reading Loop, also authored by Clark A. Pomerleau.

About the Author

Clark A. Pomerleau is a writer and teacher from Washington State. Memory, nature, queer aesthetic, and transformative agency feature in his work. He is thrilled to return to Wordgathering where his first published poetry appeared. You can also find his poems at Poached Hare and Coffin Bell Journal. Pomerleau’s essays and scholarly book (Califia Women, 2013) historicize feminist diversity education, feminist views on sexuality, and trans-inclusive praxis. Peculiar: a queer literary journal and the book, Welcome to the Resistance, will soon print a few more of his poems. Pomerleau’s first poetry chapbook, Better Living through Cats, is under contract with Finishing Line Press.