“Reader,” Albert Joseph Moore, circa 1877, WikiArt.

Part 2: Anysia, Plurality of Voices

Weeks Aprilia stayed at our cottage, sleeping
On hearth-room pallet, nights awakened, she
Prayed, sing-song incantations whispered:
“All things life-partaking die, memories lost,
Lo! Ancient Ones, I, Aprilia, have survived.”
On knees at smoldering coals, drops of blood
She knife-pricked, dripped on flower petals,
Myrtle leaves, cast into flickering flames,
Offering of herself to gods so given. Thus,
I, liona, witnessed in silence of bedroom
Shadows, except most haunting, next to fire,
Aprilia asleep fell, fleshed bone mingling
Into hearth stones, as marble altar found.

Morning next, Aprilia awakened Cosimia and
Myself, dream revelations confided. “Mother,
We were seven, sisters or tablets,” she began.
“Within us altar maps are ingrained, to find
Each other on mountain heights, purpose of
These later decades realized.” Aprilia wept,
Too overawed to speak. “Mother,” again she
Called me. “If other sisters are too damaged,
Faces smashed, arms, legs lost, they must be
Allowed to die, to awaken, few breaths of life,
Writhing moments, souls released to pre-
Existing state.” Tears streaming, she fell to
my feet, “This, I beg of you.”

O! Iliona, predestined Holy Mother, with
Cosimia, become arbiters of life and death,
As Aprilia feared, warring strife, famine,
Disease, cruel fates, several tablet sisters
Are time-lost, hammer blows, toppled
Altars, debasement of holy shrines, naked
Bodies defiled, even blesséd gods cannot
Decree such infirmities undone. For if
Sisters open eyes, take breath, on Iliona,
They will rely, resurrection or death’s
Sleep, dying words papyri record. Go now,
For demands prepare, so say Ancient
Ones, cloudborne and eternal.

Maze of mountain paths, hand-chiseled
Stone steps rising, disappearing into laurel
Tangles, Aprilia leading way, grassy clearing
Cosimia and I approached, cippi-flanked
Marble altar, name inscribed “Anysia,” tablet
sister in bright sunlit reposed. “Is she intact,
Mother?” Aprilia asked, eyes shielded from
Distance, sculpture undamaged. Offerings of
Wildflowers, upon pale cheek, Aprilia kissed,
“I love you sister.” Bloodless body remained
Unmoved until Cosimia and I in unison sang,
“Anysia, rise! Awaken to new life.”

“Apricots,” Albert Joseph Moore, 1866, WikiArt.

Lo! Eyes opening, first resurrecting breaths
Since countless ages, unclothed Anysia, felt
For limbs and torso, nimble fingers, toes,
Plurality of voices, ancient dialects uttered,
“We remember! Yes, we do! Creation as divine
Fount, as sacred fire.” Eye-blinking pause.
“Holy Mother, thank-you. Know this: Under-
Standing divine and divine understanding are
One the same.” Thus, Anysia’s mind beyond
Procession pressed, tablet sister awaited
Upon far-rambling ridge. Beginnings and
Endings, Aprilia and Anysia, two testaments,
Voices of wisdom, deific threshold standing.

As Anysia stated, is understanding divine same as divine understanding? 
Perhaps within her context of duality, it is. What ancient god is implied
in last three lines of this poem? Thanks for reading. 

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