Greg Nicholl

Self-Portrait as Anything But Red

 I bleached it until it fell out, dyed it black 
		to match my fingernails while listening 
	to Bauhaus in the downstairs bathroom. 

Just as I once tried to erase a desire for men 
		by listening to the 2nd Chapter of Acts. 
	The entire year I lived in Germany I wore 

a gray felt cap, hid under its backward brim, 
		partly because I was afraid to speak German 
	at the hair salon (I’d heard tales 

of the student who said short only to find 
		everything shaved when she turned around) 
	and partly because I was too poor 

for hairspray. We all fear saying the wrong thing 
		at the right time. Whenever someone 
	praises my German accent, I blush. 

The woman at the ticket counter in Frankfurt 
		looked confused when I handed her 
	my passport, said, even your haircut looks Germa