Denise Dee

When I was 18 punk rock entered my life. I immediately chopped off all my hair and dyed it every color I could think of. People said "You look so masculine with your hair so short. You look just like a man." I knew femininity was deeper than what was on my head. I lost all my hair last year around the same time I lost my left breast. My fingers trace over the scar slightly raised, the way men and women's hands used to reach out and rub my punk rock shorn head without asking. My hand glides over my head without even stubble to stop it.

I go to the store to buy a wig. Me, who never believed in false beauty, in covering things up. I look at the mannequin's heads, all the different styles of hair to choose from, and imagine the feel of hair cascading against my skin. Its rippling makes goose bumps rise, the way fingers caressing me used to.

I take a long dark wig off the mannequin's head. She is as bald as I am now, with a fully made up face. Her blue eyes watch as I slide the wig on. Hair hanging over my face blinds me, as if I am under water, or in a thick forest.

I part the hair with my fingers and feel myself coming back to life. Lush with live things growing in me once again.

wig model