Aaron DeLee

Selfie: Taken


I took this from the basement bedroom I
xxxxxxxxxxxxxshared with my brother for fifteen years.
He took his velvet posters of women
xxxxxxxxxxxxxI never cared for, he took his drawers
of old clothes and closet of coats; he took
xxxxxxxxxxxxxhis medals won for being a good sport.
His grey videogames vanished from the shelf.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxHe took his spit-stained pillow
we flattened together when we slept
xxxxxxxxxxxxxscared in the same spring-sunk bed.
He didn’t own any books; those were
xxxxxxxxxxxxxmine. Though, he took my words, black
and pointed, without any choice, to heart.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxHe took a deep breath, and with that
he took his music, his NSYNC and Garth Brooks
xxxxxxxxxxxxxCD’s whose undersides were rainbows
I scratched out. His blood was my blood,
xxxxxxxxxxxxxhis face matched mine; our manners
akin, and they were absent. He took himself
xxxxxxxxxxxxxlike October took all the green out
from every living thing. He grew colder,
xxxxxxxxxxxxxgrowing older, into his ears that heard
what I had to say, and took off.


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.