How to Name a City: a Dual Approach

By | 1 February 2014

Firstly, settle on a name adopted, let’s say, from a river or a mythical heroine.
Allow its heft and gloss to determine who chooses to live there, who imagines
their days to fit. Let the pivot of vowel and consonant, like the sway of a body
between ankle and hip, call on those who sing in darkness or those who speak

in orange voices, or those who miss their lives. Alternatively, observe how
a city scaffolds and instructs itself. Withhold a name until it offers one, when
its every corner steams nouns and verbs, and every street is a vessel brimful
as a barrel filled with rain. By such means will a city learn to predict its end.

Whether to silt up or wither; whether to blaze or collapse; it is all the one
to the one name dissolving in moonlight, like sugar brought slowly to boil.
Like the way you counted off your every named lover on my slight fingertips.
Like how, though I knew you would never have me, I sucked each finger clean.

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