How Woman Inherits the Earth

Gabriella R. Tallmadge

Come some blood, some gristle. Let myself be unfurled,
red tongue rolled out, wine-thick, a wave.

Speak myself into existence. Open wide the cage inside me,
survey my boning, my nerve, the lit lace of me.

Not long before the thaw, I was carved, crushed as snow.
Was made to shatter, was ice. Underground spring turned hungry,

I turned mindless fog, spirit in the grass. I rinsed myself thin like droplets.
I could hear myself disappearing— erasure— back into a cloud.

Back to phantom lung, gauze unpacked from snow, silver beaded shadow,
white liver, frost tongue. Now long pastures of my voice unveil themselves

by lightning. The net of veins, damp ribbons in my chest, untie
their knots—I sing. I breathe— my lungs patterned after

two warped mandolins. My limbs—unfolded maps of open water.
Come some sound, some answer. Come the cells that build the blood,

the crumbs of notes in music. Let not my fear, my love for this world
be a coagulant. Let me bring it to my lips and drink.

Gabriella R. Tallmadge
 serves as Web & Social Media Manager for, a non-profit arts organization, reading series, and audio archive. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Passages North, DIALOGIST, Fifth Wednesday, and The Journal. She can be found in San Diego and on Twitter (@GRTallmadge). Tallmadge has another poem published in this issue of Phoebe, which you can read here. 

You’ll find biographies for all contributors to Phoebe 43.2 here. 

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