A friend, Amanda, collects stamps
from letters mailed by serial killers.
My cousin Theodore collects
the firearms of mobsters.
His prize possession
is a Tommy gun from Machine Gun Kelly.
My uncle buys samurai swords.
At first I collected match boxes
just to fill my days. But soon nothing
proved more satisfying than the lovely sigh
of a match scraping a match box,
the tender lighting of a stove.
There is nothing sinister
in our collections. Amanda
has never set a mouse trap
or harmed anyone. Theodore
is as tame as a gerbil.
My uncle speaks Japanese and longs
to stand under a drift of cherry blossoms
one day in Tokyo.
As for me I was happily married
for seven years. I cherished my darling
more than any of my collections.
Unfortunately she was lost
in a house fire.