Allegory of the Woman from Earth

by on Mar 11, 2016 in Poetry | 0 comments

There was a woman who sprouted from dirt in a busy playground. She rose upside down, soles first. The children there placed cotton in the webbing of her toes and painted her nails. For a while it seemed the earth was giving birth to a keyboard. But a woman always surprises. When her head had finally broken through, she recounted a story about the netherworld: its zigzagging glass buildings, its derivatives and vaults; there was a man whose duty it was to count everything you owned, down to the last molecule; and a crone who enforced a dress code of business formal. The woman said, “If I look worn, if I look distraught, it is because of the way I have been fed.” The children understood. In their own little town, bankers were a kind of ghost: suited things in striped ties always walking upright. Whenever music played, they slipped into small curls of air and disappeared. In front of paintings, they resorted to measuring the frames. And if you planted them, the only thing to grow would be a smoke chute. The woman, realizing the futility of her escape, placed herself into an old photo of light and dark. The children hung her on the roundabout and continued to play.

Rodney Gomez is the author of Mouth Filled with Night (Northwestern University Press, 2014), winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize, and Spine, winner of the Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize (Newfound, 2015). His poetry has appeared in various journals, including Denver Quarterly, Barrow Street, Blackbird, Salt Hill, Drunken Boat, and RHINO, where it won the Editors’ Prize. Born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, he earned a BA from Yale and an MFA from the University of Texas – Pan American. He has been awarded residencies to the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Santa Fe Art Institute. He has also served on the board of Migrant Health Promotion, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of migrants, immigrants, and related populations. He works as the transportation director at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley.



  1. ICYMI 2016 Edition – Stories I’ve Read (and you may like too) – All These Stars - […] “Allegory of the Woman from the Earth” (Apex, March 2016) […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *