the chaos in stagnancy

poetry by Sarena Pollock

the chaos in stagnancy

I’d like to think memory is deceitful, that it really is a good thing you aren’t home anymore, but after you left I snuck into your old bedroom just to remind myself you used to live here, you breathed and slept here, and if I closed my eyes and imagined hard enough, I could pretend you were still there, crouched over your desk or restlessly sleeping in your bed like you always were. I’d tear through your drawers just to catch a whiff of your scent still embedded in your clothing, and when I found your favorite black t-shirt, I pressed my face into the fabric and inhaled in hopes of breathing your life back into it. When Grandma said we had to clean out your bedroom, I cried as I stuffed your shirts into garbage bags and threw them in the attic. As I watched them collect dust and mice-ridden holes, I realized even the dust particles managed to find peace in the chaos after your absence. Sometimes I’d sneak up there at night while everyone was sleeping and rifle through the bags of clothing, pulling your favorite shirt out again and again, but it smelled like decay and less of you every time I did. I hoped I’d find some secret message you left for me up there, some sign of fate from the universe that this was all going according to plan, but there was none. There was only me, digging through garbage bags covered in mouse shit and wiping away tears as I watched you fade right before my eyes.

the inheritance of violence

poetry by Sarena Pollock

CONTENT WARNING

graphic domestic violence. Please read at your own risk.

the inheritance of violence 

sometimes/ I feel my blood/ pulsing/ thick and heavy/ through my veins/ fists tightening/ jaw clenching/ and I wonder/ if this rage/ has been home/ to both of us/ is the hole you left/ in the drywall back home/ or in Mom’s right cheek/ the same as the scars/ I drew on my arms?/ maybe we’re both just looking for/ what’s on the other side/ maybe drawing blood/ and cracking bones/ is our version of art/ maybe we never learned/ how to heal ourselves properly/ so we break others instead/ tell me/ did your knuckles hurt/ after the impact?/ I used to punch/ the door in the hallway/ just to see/ what it felt like/ to break/ to imagine the pain/ as both your fist/ and her face/ the culmination/ of the moment’s collision/ sometimes/ I look/ at the scar on her cheek/ and wonder/ if impact is hereditary/ if memory is voluntary/ if violence is compulsion/ and I can’t help/ but fear/ that her scar/ was my doing/ that I am the one/ who could’ve both caused/ and prevented it/ if I only had the chance/

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Sarena Pollock

 Sarena Pollock is a poet and artist from Pottstown, Pennsylvania. She is currently a Senior studying Creative Writing at Susquehanna University, where she is an Intern for Santa Fe Writers Project and President of SU Slam Poetry Club. You can find her work in the latest issues of Metamorphosis - Paragon Press, along with RiverCraft Magazine and The Sanctuary Magazine.