by Joe Váradi
Tall and Intrepid, your name
— do our names shape us?
do we aspire to our labels?
insufferable as they are
Your former moniker a tad more
— “wag the dog”, the masses mocked
yet a metropolis emerged
from humid dust
Merchants of both Commerce and of Death
— from the Kingdom of Tulips
and the Empire of the Sun
have trodded these shores
Your spires now stand in vigil
Against a looming menace across the strait
— while your foot soldiers course through your arteries
chasing fortune and dreams by day
and earthly delights by night
Queen City of the Beautiful Isle
Rainha da Formosa
— the fragrant stink of fermented soybeans
and the pulsing symphony of sanitation trucks
settle over your River of Love
This is in response to Katerina Canyon’s poetry prompt.
And a Happy Birthday to my wife Jenny! This is her birthplace.
Extra claps for the first responder to correctly name the location!