The Word “Towel” is the Word “Towel”


poem by Dillon J. Welch


She tells me she’s bored and she’s in bed with her dog and it’s late and she’s trying to find something to do.

I say “my mind is a garbage disposal” and suggest that she masturbate to relieve some stress.

She says I was thinking something like ‘read a book,’ but thanks for your input. Her voice: a dryer sheet in a pillowcase.

Her voice is arrhythmic. Her voice is soft and offbeat.

I ask her what color her bath towel is and say that mine is a dull green, “but it’s been tearing at the seams lately, seems like it’s reaching that point.”

She asks me what point?, and I explain that towels have a shelf life of around four years, “give-or-take two or three months or years.”

I explain that, even when folded, towels still deteriorate on a microscopic level.

“Everything deteriorates on a microscopic level.”

She seems confused, says something about biscuits in the oven, says I’ve got to put the phone down for a moment, and then it’s

just me.

It’s just me and the phone and her in the background, tending some biscuits, and my towel hanging on a hook in the bathroom, and her towel—probably folded—stacked on a shelf in her linen closet.

Now I’m thinking about towels, and which thread count she uses, and what color is her favorite towel and what is her second favorite and how many towels has she used in the past to dry off her naked body,      which gets me thinking about naked bodies in general, about their different postures,

and how odd it is that they’re sexually attractive, or that when they smell good they can have me hard in maybe three or four seconds, which is about the same amount of time it takes to dry off each limb of my body with a towel, preferably a new one.

And now I’m hard thinking about getting hard and towels and limbs and her, off in some other room cooking biscuits. I wonder if she knows that I’m hard,

and I forget how to speak for a second      because I’m thinking of her dark silhouette standing in some doorway, wearing only her favorite color towel, which is black right now, because she’s just a silhouette.

But this time I really hear her, I hear her soft, dryer-sheet, pillowcase voice say are you there?

And I pause.

I pause     because I want to say
and I want to say Yes I am here and ask
are you naked? and
what color was the towel that you took off
and what color is the cord on your phone and
does your phone have a cord and if so,

can you please drape your towel over it and tell me
if it touches the linoleum.

But I don’t say any of those things, I don’t ask
any one of those things.



Dillon J. Welch