SHOPKEEPERS' NAME Abyss & Bridge Renée Gregorio In a small shop in Xania I meet two young shopkeepers with hallucinogenic names. One tells me everything’s made in Greece as she leads me around the store with her vibrancy. The other remarks that in the current economy women are the first to go, in the world of work, the first to be seen as unnecessary. My shopkeepers do not offer their names until asked. Stunned at the power they evoke, I ask further: what might it mean to live into those names? They laugh, unaware of their shining. Oh, Panagiota! Look at all the clothes you tempted me with— I bought more than I needed in the glow of your generous attention, bought your charm and laughter, your warmth. Panagiota, Panagia—all-holy one— I visit your chapels everywhere on Crete, each dedicated to your namesake. Oh, Olympia! sanctuary of ancient Greece, classic site of the first Olympic games. In your temenos—temple of Hera, temple of Zeus, altars of sacrifice. Olympia, Panagiota, I remember you. And now I know that sometimes what’s powerfully given, like our names, asks us to shed what’s deeply held— our insignificance. ©2021 Renée Gregorio