My father collects sea glass, pez dispensers, 
                 corks from every kind of bottle. 
Gumball machines. Hulk comics. Novelty matchboxes 
                  painted with beautiful, glittering women. 

When I was twelve, I would steal these matchbox women 
                 from his nightstand, and hold their painted bodies 
in the meat of my palm. There’s no good metaphor for boobs
                  so I
won’t try. But I guess that’s always been my weakness: 

bad metaphors. Beautiful women. At night I would strike 
                  match after match, smelling the sulfur, letting it burn 
all the way down. Fascinated with bodies so much like mine. Touching myself,
                  with fingers still warm from the flame. 

Like my father, I also collect. Frog candle holders. Tiny sticks.
                  Boxers from ex-girlfriends and postcards from a woman 
who doesn’t know I love her. I wear these collections like a good suit:
                   a soft kind of armor 

following the YouTube tutorial for tying ties 
                  because my father never taught me, each tail of the cloth 
becoming one more thing I must twist 
                   to fit into.








Callan Foster is a lesbian poet and high school librarian. She lives in Seattle with her cat, Ralph.

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