5.07 I leave the room and enter the room

Sara Munjack

of this mid-century gothic home—
wainscoting at eyelevel and a wrapped pothos
around exposed piping. An oak tree grows
in the center of the room, ensconced in tall glass.

In this room, my father is relishing some
unknown secret:
the ending to a movie
some forgotten catchphrase
the way to raise a child as if graphed and calculated.

In this room, my mother gathers dried sunflowers
from a box with the dog’s ashes, miming
the words to her own mantra. Most people
like to live.

I leave the room and I fear
the becoming of them,
so I will myself new.

I enter this room now—
every person who has held me stands
in this room. I gather myself in the corner,
finger a lace window curtain.
There is only one path out of the room.

In this iteration of the room
I eat leftover clafoutis in bed.
There is shame in this act.

I’m dehydrated.
I know this because after every swallow
I begin at the beginning
again I leave the room.


I had the photos hung up as a diptych for a while on the wall and just monitored how I felt when observing them. The images, titled "inside the mansion inside the snowglobe," caused a drowning sensation. This rendered as a poem about being trapped in a room—except the room for me embodied memories of childhood.
—Sara Munjack


Sara Munjack holds an MFA from Rutgers-Newark and works at The Academy of American Poets. She has poems published in Gandy Dancer, ISO Magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, Pigeon Pages, BOAAT, and forthcoming in Grist Journal.
Instagram: @cere__bellum

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