Twenty & Change

Poems by Timmy Chong


muse ft. sunburns and chapstick

fireball stains
on my shoulder and
flushed cheeks on
cool marble, she
tripping out to
the chandelier and she
sleepwalking back
into mine and she
skin soft as suede or
steam or plums
she wore a sundress
as good as anyone.


ft totten train
The bud ain’t all roses.
She hops the train and hopes
that she got cash for Monday’s dosage. 
When she sober she can make shit
but if she high then she compose it.

Finds her dealer posted up at Fort Totten.
Cottonmouth tongue
he’s got his fingers on the hostage.
A dub of nugged greens
but she’s got empty pockets, 
holds out her hand 
as if he preaching gospel. 

Boy got them low eyes,
got that good lip
reeking purple like periques.
Says when the plug dry
in Baltimore, they blow smoke
dipped in PCP.

Says the up lives long
and hits fast.
He bums another black lung
from the homie with the slick back
curl the finger light a lucky
lick the thumb and flip a thick stack
toss the bitch the ones
the little bills becoming knickknacks

come get cozy at the kickback,
got a burnhole I can stitch that.


Slim thick, blessed with
a knack for sweet nothings
did six months for drunk
joyrides in мама’s whip.

They call her foolish,
a suburban bushkin
the tenderfeet stumble
when pushed to be prim.

Mouthful of white noise
and slick whiskey rye
lamplight on sterling eyes
and sugar-brown skin.

They call her brave
and I call her convict,
an hourglass brazen
and bronze-dipped.

cuffing season [interlude]

and I just wish I wanted
to know anything like I do
the ridges of your chipped tooth,
your glow after two, or

the smell of your neck, 
or kissing a cigarette between
your milky teeth beneath
your bedroom window.

Prayer titled ‘Anxious’

It’s not only angst, it’s
that a mind got teeth
like fangs, it’s
nervous laughs and
blackened jacks and

averted gazes, girls
don’t bite like that
and I don’t bait so
when we bounce
pass the bottle

at the post-game I
just feel out of place
and when she does bite
I show my teeth but never
bother for her name, like

nobody wants
to hear this shit, how
I feel more than I say and
got no dance music
on my playlists,

or I’m a church kid
who’s changed and
probably just
waiting on my
breaking day, like.

Starbucks Bars to be Sung  I

And sometimes I keep on thinking
that you’re the one to blame.

Sometimes the streets be singing how
your lips curl at my strange, like

we may as well wear crowns, these
smoke halos burn for days, let’s

never dress up to go out, hell
let’s never leave this couch,

I’d rather Redbone on the record
and to feel it with our mouths.

Starbucks Bars to be Sung II

I cut a playlist they can flow to
call that shit a cold brew

Blonde Chucks broke-in three days
90s theme, old school

Denim washed and tree laced
with kief from the Dream Blue

Swishers at the case race
stains upon my gold shoes

Frat boys at the bar fuck
Sunday best in bathrooms

Sabbath morning after
fixed by smoke fumes.

Starbucks Bars to be Sung III

Carpe diem by the page
in my pinrolled denim,
empty pockets propped up
by a leather black belt, and

tight-rolled sleeves,
with my hair tied back
and the pretty plays tease
like my pen might melt.

Chimney to a pack of smokes
The Truth smooth as velvet,
these wrists cuffed raw as if
stripped of my heavenly, I’m

laid down proper pushing
daisies like a felon, see
sweet nothings grow
slow as jealousy.
Timmy Chong is a  wordsmith from the DMV. You can find his poems in Words Dance, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Rising Phoenix Press, Atticus Review, Stylus, and

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