What I Leave Behind • Lana Ghannam

I hold thinning paper
in clammy hands,
lose my identity on it
by mistake. I crinkle
its abdomen with pressing
fingers, tightly rub
in my self-doubt
beneath my thumb.
I’ll lose my name
if I press hard enough,
erasing my prints off
the tips of my fingers,
like hair that’s been washed
too many times, strands
that fall out and get lost
on my shoulders or through
tumbled fabric. I’ll keep
those loose ends as warnings,
curls that tickle some sense
into me when tucked
into dryer sheets, bed sheets,
lying in sheets on my bedroom
floor. Those tumbleweeds
that catch my cold
toes in the middle
of the day, the sun ripping
down my blinds as if to say
I’m here, I’m here.
The mirror watches
my face get swallowed up
by the sun that sneaks
its light behind the slow
clouds. My eyes grow wide,
my eyes grow wild, always
seeking whatever falls behind.


Lana is currently an MFA Candidate in Poetry at the
University of Central Florida where she also serves as
a Teaching and Editorial Assistant for The
Florida Review, UCF’s national literary magazine. Her 
poetry has appeared in The Holler Box and The Cape Rock.