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“Glass Footprints”

Courtesy of

Courtesy of user Esparta Palma

“Glass Footprints”

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

didn’t breathe.

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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