names with themes.
Anglicized Ukranian-Jewish names
(Shifting postwar borders
Disturb coherent genealogies;
ruin the aesthetics
of salient family narratives, catchy stories
we tell our friends’ friends at parties.)
Polish names that sound bad in English
Polish names that sound bad in England’s English
Polish names that sound bad in my England’s English
You can’t please all of the people all of the time.
The problem with transnational babies;
Never-local always-foreign howdyasay names.
(don’t cave in)
anything, anything, but simply English names:
Names beginning with Q
Righteous among the nations:
[/Search for righteous rescuer]
[/Search for righteous rescued person]
Other Granny’s name
not Granddad’s name
Or the other one’s
His grandparents names.
What if we have more babies?
Should all the babies have a grandparent’s name?
What if we pick a Polish first name –
Would Granny’s name go?
Should there be a coherence,
between the first name and the middle name?
And the surname?
Should the surname go with the first name,
Or the first name and the middle name?
Should it even matter?
If we have more babies –
should there be a coherence,
between all the babies names?
Names my friends will like
Names his friends will like
Names my Mum will like
Names his parents won’t.
Names I like
Names serious me likes
Names silly me likes.
Names he likes
Names he says he likes
(Names he says he doesn’t).
Names for a successful one
a good one
a complicated one
a melancholic one
an ill one
a bad one
a son I’ll be ashamed of.
Names for a son I won’t understand.
Names for a son that’ll hate me
Names for a son that’ll one day die
Names for a son that we’ll one day leave
Maybe a name to protect my son.
The name of their name day
(their saint’s name).
And leave it all to chance.
Dymitr, Klaudiusz, Seweryn, Wiktor.
A name that’s right tomorrow
A name that’s wrong today.
A name with everything inside it:
the whole eschatology of the world.
our baby’s world;
Emma Szh is a PhD student at the Royal College of Art, London, working on selfies at Auschwitz.