Elizabeth Gibson


In class I am so tired and you rest your
palms upon my back so soft and golden
and I feel honey gently sink into snow
and my muscles relax and your prints
form a cradle, a chair for a queen to lie
in and be served and be warm. I know

later you will sit beside me and kiss the
crease at the side of my mouth, the spot
between my lips where I ache and age.
You will be a butterfly, thudding heavy
healing wings. I will be your rose – far
less perfect, of course. Afterwards you

will bite down on my lower lip, on my
tongue, form a blood bead, a ladybird,
tiny and neat. I see it set in a crown or
adorning a chunky box full of incense.
The scent chokes me as I gasp you in,
as I cry out, but wait – outside is sunny

with no snow or kings or treasures and
the insects are out doing their own thing,
buzzing and whirring and clicking in a
taut blue sky, and you do not know me
yet. You sit clockwatching, pen-nibbling
and sometimes you stretch like a cat to

rest your palms on the chair in front but
our surnames betrayed us and I am a sea
of furniture and people away. I am not a
queen or rose or holy one; you are not a
king or wise. It is April. The showers are
a long time coming. The fool is right here.


Elizabeth Gibson is a Masters student at The University of Manchester and a member of The Writing Squad. Her work has been accepted by Cake, Antiphon, Far Off Places, London Journal of Fiction, The Cadaverine, Severine and Ink, Sweat & Tears. She edits Foxglove Journal and the Word Life section of Now Then Manchester. She tweets @Grizonne and blogs at http://elizabethgibsonwriter.blogspot.co.uk.