Poetry: Ávila

The moon is so big, made of milk perhaps. They say it’s blue but it looks pearly white, waiting for you to fill it, colour it in. I know you will choose purple, flood the sky in ink that isn’t quite blue. Hey, it’s prettier than red, which is the only hue I could paint it.

You tell me I’ll heal. I never believe you. But as we watch the sun break up, lapping toffee ice-cream like cats while kids dash about, I come close. Today we walked the walls. They were high and tedious, the sun hot and heavy, as it always is when we do

something like this. It hates us. The moon – maybe not. We wandered back into town through a huge archway, your arm hanging casually around my back. You are so used to it being there I doubt you noticed. I did. I dreamt that we were born again, sailing

through the portal into a newer world – though still one with rust and stains from too much use. I imagined we were riding horses. Mine would be called Black Magic and would be mighty and proud. Yours would be Siren, grey and gentle and soft.

You bite my ear. I toss my hair. We drift through the side streets, the sky leaking light, runny and yellow this time, an egg. It hatches a sea of sparrows who quiver and hop, while two storks huddle happily on a scaffold-covered building not caring

if it isn’t yet perfect. They’ve built a nest. I see bulls in the distance, tiny black flecks that I know will be dusty in the heat. They will flick tails in mild annoyance, nuzzle their cows. They graze on golden grass. It is dry, acidic in their mouths. They are on

borrowed time. There is a sculpture of a huge zip stretching into the night. Whether the sky is being torn apart or stitched up is unclear. There are roses everywhere, their shy scent overpowered by smoke and food. They keep growing, determined not to die out.

Elizabeth Gibson was announced as a New North Poet at the 2017 Northern Writers’ Awards. Her writing has appeared in The Compass, Cake, Antiphon, Creative Review, The Poetry Shed and Ink, Sweat & Tears. She edits Foxglove Journal and the Word Life section of Now Then Manchester. She tweets at @Grizonne and blogs at http://elizabethgibsonwriter.blogspot.co.uk.