Tiff Holland


When it rained we
put pots on the burn­ers
and made soup
We wrapped the leak­ing pipes
in t‑shirts, shook the aerosol cans,
cre­at­ed spray-paint seals
When the pilot went out
We piled bas­kets into the car
careered to the laun­dro­mat,
roller-der­bied the moth­ers
fight­ing for the hottest dri­ers

When there was no flush
we filled bowls with water
that also had no place to go
let­ting vol­ume do the work
When the cup­boards were emp­ty
we learned to make friends
Otherwise we would still
be alone and hun­gry

When a crack formed in the sky
and sent down a thir­ty-foot
branch, you threw me
from our bed before
it could split itself
upon the ridge of the roof

That was Christmas, the dog
seiz­ing in a cor­ner
by the full-length clos­et mir­ror
com­ing to in fugue state bar­ing
his teeth at his dop­pel­gänger
at us, call­ing the sher­iff,
his gun unhol­stered
when we unlocked the door
the dog, alert, rec­og­niz­ing
his own tail wag­ging.

Home is the box you have left
after you erase the spires
arched win­dows, fly­ing
but­tress­es, the place
you make do with inter-
mit­tent elec­tri­cal out­ages
tak­ing turns adjust­ing the rab­bit ears
while the oth­er watch­es the world
attempt to mate­ri­al­ize through
the snow, always snow, deep
enough to lose your­self in
and the fire­place, smoke-
smudged but func­tion­al
to warm us back up.


Tiff Holland is author of the novel­la-in-flash “Betty Superman.” Her poet­ry and prose have recent­ly appeared in Frigg, New World Writing, New Flash Fiction Review, and Fried Chicken and Coffee. Tiff lives in Kaneohe, Hawaii and teach­es at Windward Community College.