The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Made to Explode by Sandra Beasley

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. 

Kiss Me

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.

Sandra Beasley is the author of Made to ExplodeCount the WavesI Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize; Theories of Falling, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize; and Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir. She also edited Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Sally Rosen Kindred‘s third poetry book is Where the Wolf (Diode Editions, 2021). She is also the author of Book of Asters and No Eden, as well as three chapbooks, including Says the Forest to the Girl (Porkbelly Press, 2018). Her poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly ReviewLos Angeles ReviewShenandoah, and Kenyon Review Online. She teaches online workshops for The Poetry Barn. 


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