"residual haunting" by Sarah Fannon


I have burned candles

in the home of my body,

cleansed the air of apparitions.

I have lain sea salt at my door

like a line of white ants.

It’s spring and I am out

of the ghost zone.

Parallel months have reached

the end of their train tracks

but this time I get to move forward

instead of stalling out—

what a difference between one

melting winter and the next,

from mercury in retrograde

pulling the rug out from under me,

to two planets sharing a prograde orbit,

dancing to Whitney with somebody who loves me

in a stained-glass cathedral.

This time the vernal equinox

is warm and this time I have you.

Sometimes at night,

slumped in the corner of my eyes,

I see the me who felt her body

turn to corn husk, discarded after use.

I look at her now and feel exorcised.

She has come so far, so much.

I am no longer the cuff on a cold shoulder.

I am nights I never want to end

and mornings made more alive,

waking up like tangled tree roots.

How good it feels to be in

something that grows.


Sarah Fannon is a graduate of George Washington University's Honors English and Creative Writing program. Her work is featured or forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, CHEAP POP, Dark Moon Digest, Diabolical Plots, and elsewhere. Her poetry chapbook Believing in Ghosts was published by dancing girl press in 2021. Find her online at sarahfannon.com.

Instagram: @ampersarah

Twitter: @SarahJFannon

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