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.