This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Sally Rosen Kindred, is from Made to Explode by Sandra Beasley, released by W. W. Norton & Company in 2021.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg sits in the nineteenth row of my heart while onstage, a woman has been conscribed to the shape of a shrew. The actress has forty-carat eyes, an aquiline nose; her shoulders slight, her waist small enough. She is spanked over our hero’s knee. Everyone is laughing of course except the conductor, who must steady his baton, and the house manager, who has seen it before, and the actors directed instead to be aghast, agape, gawking, agog, whatever Cole Porter rhymes with dismayed, and Ginsburg, who adjusts the pearl clipped to her ear. She curls the program in her lap. This is tiring, attending theaters of the heart. She doesn’t relish it as Sandra Day O’Connor did, sipping prosecco at the intermission of Porgy & Bess. The gangsters soft-shoe, reminding us to brush up on our Shakespeare. The actress sings, “I Am Ashamed That Women Are So Simple.” Soon, Kate will be tamed. That’s how we know the ending is happy.
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