Aaron DeLee

Selfie: Out of Place (In Coat and Scarf in Bathroom)

Out of Place

My, my hair has gotten to be big. You might believe
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxit’s bouffant, as by passers do along city sidewalks, stopping

me to mention that it’s fittingly coifed, asking if they can
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxpet it. How it sits so nicely, obedient. Following my Germanic

commands, it stands; with the snap of my fingers, it spins.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxRunning across the park, it fetches me balls. When we ride

with the windows down, it resists the wind, licking it.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxDuring the night, my hair’s less behaved, rooting around

garbage and shuffling up and down the hallway. It forgets
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxits place, and each morning I awake to its anarchy, messed bedding.

My father, a trucker, gave me a cut when I was a kid. It was his
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxand he dug into me, parting it in two, saying that this was what

was handsome; that I was a good boy when I was in line. He kept
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxit in his hat, hanging in his closet, next to his leather belts and buckles

that smelled of diesel petroleum. Hand-slicked, he smacked it atop
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxmy scalp. Gold curls bruised auburn. The follicles continued to grow

past their combed constraints. My father was never around
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxexcept for when he was, which is to say in everything he touched.

Bleach may remove the coloring, but my hair has an exceptional
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxmemory and refuses to be brushed aside with simple waves of a hand.


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.