Dear Prince,

by Kristina McDonald

I always hated shoes
and the way they devoured my feet
like snakes trying to swallow mice.

Washing the floor was a relief
because no one saw or cared
if my toes clawed at the air
or drew doodles in the soap.

I don't know why
someone would make shoes out of glass,
as if my feet were roses
and not calloused covered tubers
I rarely had time to wash.

I just know those damn shoes were heavy.
They made a sound
like a train wheel turning over
and they whistled when I slipped
on your ridiculously polished floor.

And you, with your perfectly circular buttons,
the golden fringe on your shoulder
and the face someone else
scrubbed clean in the mornings,
you turned and assumed I would fall.

So I'm writing today to remind you
that I didn't stumble on my way out the door.
I meant for you to find the glass,
to polish it until you saw
your eyes were empty too.

And I kept the other shoe
so I could fill it with dirt
and fail at growing a flower.
Because a single slipper has no purpose,
and it reminds me of you.

Kristina McDonald received her MFA from Eastern Washington University, where she was the poetry editor of Willow Springs. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Narrative, New Guard Review, Yemassee, Sugar House Review, and Sixfold. She has worked for literary non-profits Writers in the Schools and Get Lit! Programs, and she currently works for Rice University.

When asked to name her favourite fruit, she replied as follows: "My favorite fruit is chocolate-covered pineapples. Or chocolate-covered cherries. Or chocolate-coated strawberries on a stick at the Renaissance Fair. Really, any fruit you can cover in chocolate is the best kind of fruit."

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