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31st January 2017

Poet of the week: Elizabeth Gibson

Elizabeth Gibson is the first of weekly published poets in The Mancunion

Elizabeth Gibson is an IPML student at UoM and a Digital Reporter for Manchester Literature Festival. She is a member of The Writing Squad and has had work in Far Off Places, London Journal of Fiction, Octavius, Severine, Ink, Sweat & Tears and Gigantic Sequins. She tweets @Grizonne and blogs at

There are pigs everywhere, oinking at us.
We are drowning in pink. They are what
Segovia is known for, you tell me. Pork,
in all its guises: cured, pulled, spicy, raw.
The aqueduct is two storeys tall and rules
the airspace, made of square white stones.
They look too neat to be real. You tell me
there was a pact with a devil. I believe it.

We trek up the hill to the spiky house, La
Casa de los Picos. It does what it says on
the tin. I could fall back into it, the initial
pain subsiding into something therapeutic,
like a massage, or when they burn stuff on
your back. You know? We turn back for
a slice of view. Hillside. Pale sky, a sun
on its way to tyrant mode. Not there yet.

There are little mosaics on every corner,
telling us where we are meant to be. Here
is a chalice and host – Plaza del Corpus,
the Square of the Body. We approach the
cathedral, La Dama they call her, the Lady.
She is big and white, and kind of squat. In
my mind’s eye I rest my cheek against her
stone, discover whether the lime is hot like

the day or miraculously cool, her holy belly
pulsating ice. You just look at me. We stop
in a café and have crepes made from cheese
and – yes, ham. They are tiny and so rich my

tongue recoils. We gulp weird drinks, wipe
fat from our lips. Back down the hill we go,
pigs staring up at us accusingly from their
plates and postcards. I didn’t mean it, I tell
them in both languages. Es extraña, you say.
You are strange. I know, I know I am. It is
still not that hot. Time to go. I can taste fat,
and limestone, though I never did kiss that.

If you would like to have your work published in The Mancunion, as poet of the week, please email book[email protected], with a selection of work and a short biography.

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