Dove and Menthol Pillows

Dove and Menthol Pillows

by Timmy Chong


You keep smokes in a soapbox. Past midnight

put a towel under the door and run warm water,

hold our cigarette up to the ceiling fan. Spit

and say the scent still sticks to the walls,

and ma doesn’t know, but she knows, you know?


Some nights you thunder like a storm

or stumble like a child.


You wonder aloud when the fuck you learned to sin

in stride. Chime it was sophomore year

you traded the Bible in your backpack for

a lighter in your pocket, you didn’t mind

aside from the youth group gossip.


Some nights you thunder like a storm.


You bristle no, that I don’t get it. That every boy

who’s laid in this bed has claimed common ground.

Flustered now, like there’s a line between us

in the ridges of the linen and the quiet

is crisp as shame.


Some nights you stumble like a child.


Dizzy off a trio of benzos though I pled, you press

all that is suppressed into shapes with soft edges.

Write wilderness, and wilderness, and love

‘til kingdom come, call it

modern gospel.


Some nights you stumble like a child

or rumble like a storm,


but in the mornings

you are unstrung out

and you, and

you are making toast,

singing in the slack.


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