Aaron DeLee

Selfie: Portrait as Crystal Connors in Showgirls

Crystal Connors

In the dressing room of roses
we bloom like an unmade bed,

I am your hand-picked.

The costumes wilt without me;
my mirror reveals perennial jejunity behind

because there’s no looking beyond this.

And here, this very vanity
I revere in baubled champagne lighting.

I’m feeling a little turned inside
out myself today.

Darling, you’ve got it
with your clutch of thorns for nails.

If you scratch my back, I
scratch back, sticking to you.

This is the way we dig in —
to one another; this is how to bud.


Aaron DeLee was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana, and moved to Chicago in 2001.  He graduated from Loyola University of Chicago in 2005 with a BA in English: Creative Writing.  He went on to receive his MFA in Creative Writing: Poetry from Northwestern University.  His work has appeared in Court Green, BloomMad Hatter’s Review, and various other publications. His work has also been commissioned, set to music and performed by a Chicago opera troupe, VOX3, with a series titled, Iconic Waltzes.  Aaron founded and organizes a long-lasting gay bookclub on Chicago’s northside and works with TriQuarterly Online.