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. 

Einstein, Midnight

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.


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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