by Kylie Lee Baker
My quiet white world was a light bulb buzzing under your sneaker.
Silver sneakers like spaceships and they’d get dirty I said
but I love them you said and I love you I said.
You crushed it into glitter on the carpet
and the dark hit me like a taxi and I
saw the broken traffic lights blinking and
watched them draw a chalk line around my body and I
Clean it up you bastard I said.
but you put on your green baseball cap and walked away
and the crowd inhaled you into their colorless arms
and the pieces crunched like salt under your
Just last month my feet were white on the December floorboards and
toenails red for poinsettias and candy canes and cracked lips.
And your socks skated over the linoleum like
the frozen pond where our silver blades scored the ice
sending us gliding faster and faster to everywhere.
And in March your shoes were black like starless New York skies and
the shoe polish was on your palms and then mine,
and the lipstick was on my face and then yours and
my espadrilles echoed forever on the tile, so
I danced barefoot and your soles never
crushed my rose-painted toes.
And now I’m scrubbing the floorboards until the soap burns my cuticles and
your footprints won’t wash away.
And do you remember that very last time…
Your silver sneakers were dull gray and stood lifeless on my porch
And we both saw how my light bulb world was burning out
and all I could say was
So you kissed me in the slate black and then slipped away
with my world in sparkles on the soles of your stupid
“Glass Footprints” was awarded a Silver Key from the Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in 2012, and a Gold Key as part of my Senior Writing Portfolio in 2013.
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