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Dale Wisely

Fashion and Affliction


We are in a long winter drought, unrelieved by continuous heavy rain. It is precisely 16 degrees Fahrenheit every hour, bright and dark, but nothing freezes and people complain of feeling warm, discarding clothing on the streets. Previously poised TV anchormen sob and babble at unmanned studio cameras.


Women are rapidly and exponentially more beautiful, as if by viral contagion, but are almost all wearing splints, casts, and braces on their arms and legs. They favor the old steel and leather ones. I count seven teenage girls at a park with black leather patches over their right eyes. Others have no patches but carry long white canes. High school students in A.P. classes debate whether this is fashion, affliction, or a blend of both.


Dale Wisely is a psychologist who lives in the southern United States. He is the founding editor of Right Hand Pointing, which is entering its 10th year online. With Howie Good, he co-edits prose poetry for White Knuckle Chapbooks.


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