Tiff Holland

Kenny

Mom always referred to him as Kenny Rogers, fell for him over cam­paign din­ners at Republican Headquarters, always chick­en, she said, always stringy. She stayed out lat­er and lat­er, explain­ing pol­i­tics, to us kids when she returned home smelling of wine, cig­a­rette smoke and cologne. She was the cam­paign man­ag­er, she told us. She fresh­ened her lip­stick com­pul­sive­ly when she talked about him: his sil­ver beard, his open shirt, the gold chain across the hair on his chest, Just like a BeeGee, she said, smack, press­ing her lips to a square snatched from the bath­room roll. She left tis­sue kiss­es by the phone, on the night-stand, the pas­sen­ger seat of the red Dodge Dart she drove into Portage Lake, fail­ing to yield at Cormany, leav­ing me to clean up her affec­tions, per­fect coral lip-prints, the tis­sues not wadded or fold­ed but creased gen­tly in the mid­dle, then smoothed flat.

Tiff Holland’s poet­ry and prose appear reg­u­lar­ly in jour­nals and antholo­gies. Her novel­la-in-flash, Betty Superman, will be pub­lished by Rose Metal Press in 2014.