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.
The memorial’s shape is cumulative, clay on clay. His brow wrinkles, his sweater sags, toes flex gently in open sandals. What you see is his 1953 face combined with an imagined body. Mass is the presence of energy, an object’s resistance to anything other than what it is already doing. Yes, you may sit on Albert’s lap. Look past your feet; those 2,700 studs map what we knew of a particular day’s sky. Did you know he patented a refrigerator with no moving parts? His fridge collaborator was the one who asked him to cosign the letter that said, It may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium. Later, he’d say that if he’d known Germans would fail, he’d have never urged Americans to succeed. When he applied for a chance on the Manhattan Project, our Army refused. Now, an artist works into the dawn hours, looping with her crochet needle until his figure is shrouded in pink, purple, and teal. Yarn-bombing, we call this. Anything, in the right hands, can be made to explode.
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