ONE POEM – Elizabeth Gibson

Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

Eat life…

…like ice-cream mochi, the rubbery outside giving
under sore teeth, the cold making your lungs catch, the red
sauce oozing from heart to chin,
like walking home, Aldi shopping bag swinging its belly
against your thigh, golden hour in North Manchester,
each window a mirror of orange-juice sun,
like the trio of cormorants in the Irwell, oil in bird form,
staying under, under, till they should be gone but then here
they are again, long black fish down a neck in a moment,
like resting against a bedroom wall, thinking, I could make
this place homely, the carpet that the fitter called oatmeal,
like the dessert you ordered at the pub – no-one knew
what a parfait was, and they delivered you a mountain
of chocolate and cream and fresh raspberries,
like thinking: I have done absolutely the right thing,
like sprawling in Angel Meadows, sky pale purple,
nettles on hand, caress of tongue over raised pink dots,
like long open streets, food stalls in the carpark, cygnets,
sleep – sweet sleep – and showers with rhubarb gel,
like you are the aurora borealis, a thirsty balloon,
wanting and worthy of more air, ready to gorge
on forest fruits, and salt and garlic, and cinnamon,
like you are every season and its harvest – never stop.

Elizabeth Gibson lives in Manchester and writes poetry and plays about city life, nature, queer joy, body image, and mental health. She won a Northern Writers’ Award in 2017, and her work has appeared in Atrium, Confingo, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Lighthouse, Magma, Popshot, Queerlings, and Under the Radar. She was awarded a DYCP grant from Arts Council England in 2021 to further explore queerness through poetry and performance. She has performed her one-person show, ‘The Reason for Geese’, at PUSH Festival and Turn on Fest, in Manchester. She edits Foxglove Journal, and is on Twitter and Instagram as @Grizonne.

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