Foster Collins III

“Constantly looking for new and fun ways to tell people I’m gay”

Selected Works:

“How to throw the perfect coming out party”

Dear 2013 Foster

Please abandon those plans to stay in the closet forever

it’s no place live your life, some plants will only grow to the size of the pot they are planted in but you are not a plant, you are a human being. You were made to tell stories, right now a blank page may seem like a party you aren’t invited to, like a dance you haven’t been taught yet

But one day, an empty page will seem more like a game to be played,

one day a blank page will be the best mouth you ever had, a skeleton key from this prison of your own device.

Make your coming out a party, surprise your guests, it may not be your birthday but you will be born again in this moment.

Tear yourself open, let your heart see the light of day,Fill your lungs into balloons, hang your arteries like streamers, use your veins as the aux cord, and rip your skin into confetti

We’re having a party. And you are the venue, the host, and the theme

It’s going to be terrifying

There are going to be people who crash your party

those that make you sad,

Those that make you angry,

Let them in to see that your story is beautiful and you are too,

These people will try to ruin your party, they will try to tear down your artery streamers and rip out your vein aux cord, they will tell you they liked you better before you opened your chest, before your heart saw sunlight, before the music played in time with your pulse, they will tell you they hate you, Do not let it affect you, you are stronger than them, and a party is not the place to cry about it,

But you will cry about it, you will cry about it as you find the loneliest locker in the locker room so the other boys don’t think you’re staring, you will cry when your father tries to tell you it’s just a phase, you will cry as you try to tell your mother that you are gay, do not worry, she, already knows, and loves you still

Fill the party with music, let it pour from your veins and into the speakers, this is the main attraction, this is the kind of music that makes you forget that air is for anything other than carrying sound, the kind that pushes your organs tighter together as they try to dance with one another

Tell stories, everyone loves a story and we want to hear yours,  

Like, how strange girls with pale skin and dark hair had a habit of knowing you were gay before you did

Like, how you dated this girl in middle school, and now He’s a trans man,

Like, the time you almost saw your crush naked

Like The time you saw your crush naked

Accept that you are gay ,Accept that these stories are a part of you, embrace them with your bare heart and balloon lungs, write about them,

Invite your friends to the party, they love you, even if you haven’t come out to them yet, they probably already read the signs

They will teach you how to love others, but they will teach you to love yourself first.

By now you will think the party is over, but in truth it never will be,

the funny thing about liberation is, there’s no going back.

“Letters From the Street”

Dear friend

I’ve known you since the day you first walked

Since the day you first spoke

Since the day you were born again

I have been there since the beginning


I watched you grow up

Or felt it

How the three plastic wheels of a tricycles changed to two and then four

I felt your age like a bat sees in the night

Your footsteps echo located your pain to me, your joy

You have walked marathons upon the pavement but one day I know you’ll run them too


I miss the way you danced in the rain

As if getting soaked and enjoying the moment were one in the same

A kick step in the puddles

A foxtrot in the streams


I loved the feeling of the snow most of all

Like the sound of silk on piano keys I had to strain to listen but I swear I hear music

You’d slide down the ice like a trombone’s glissando splatting on the last beat when you fell into a snowbank

Powder fills the air like stars.

“The Time Travelers Hospital Bed”

It started with my fingernails

they stopped growing

wrinkles formed around my eyes and forehead

my wisdom teeth grew back

I know I can’t keep jumping through time but I can’t help myself

the past is too addicting


my right hand shakes with age now

my left has never been healthier

I’ve seen Mount Saint Helens errupt five times

it’s plume reminds me that man will never overcome nature

I hear my dead mother singing to me lullabies some nights

my shoulders feel the weight of her arms in a hug


I died yesterday

the rabies I had when I was five came back and the doctors couldn’t save me

But I just set up like nothing was wrong

My time has come and gone and I’m still here


I woke up with all the memories of tomorrow today my hair will turn white

all the scrapes on my knees will come back


I’m unstuck from it all

Which is to say

I’m trapped

“You’ll Find Me”

Perhaps the clue to my entire existence

is the happiness of others

somewhere between belly laughs echoed off lakefronts

and quiet snores to radio stories on long car rides

You’ll find me

you’ll find me dancing on mountaintops to songs no one else can hear but us

you’ll find me striding between coffee houses and local shops

Between pauses in conversations

in the transition from smile, to giggle, to snort

You’ll find me in that fraction of a second before the band starts to play

the audience sitting with bated breath

the air tasting of static energy waiting to snap

Is there anything more true than happiness caused by others?

Where does a left come from?

And where do they go if not within me


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