“La Vertueuse Athénienne,” Joseph-Marie Vien, 1762, WikiArt.

Part 4: Twilight’s Lost Gleaming (Last)

Sea currents, mysterious ship-guiding
Winds, Cycladic isles we discerned, Sofia
Leapt into foaming surf, on beach naked
Strove. Fresh water streams, ripening figs
We sought. Before us, sun-radiant temple
Cloud-emerged, marble tomb, single window,
Time-sealed bronze door, familiar as first
Encountered, Etruscan divine portal. From
Billowing heights, metallic voices asked,
“What is essence? What is existence?”

“Truth, reason, that which fundamentally is,”
Replied Sofia. “So says virtue of wisdom.”
Thunderclap, bronze door opened ajar.
“Enter, discover truth revealed past belief
Or wisdom.” Gown, sandals removed, I,
Tizmay, knelt to ground, forehead cobble-
Stones touching. O! Heaven’s citadel, only
By soul-body humbled nakedness, dared
We approach deific sanctified-concealed,
For eternal gods dwelt therein.

What find us? Altar flames, papyri rolls
Scripture inscribed? Wisdom’s bright
Bride? None of these, except bones in
Burial crypts, urns ash-filled, twilight’s
Lost gleaming. Faded voices, four virtues
Wind-dissolved. Time unhinged, upward
Flowing sands, I viewed past and futurity,
Coming into being, away passing, single
Eye blink, in sameness, I wept, for all real
Was dreamt, all dreamt never real. 

Was Sophia real or dream-imagined? Perhaps she was real for Tizmay,
but only dreamt by me, her essence lost, existence never fully realized.
Alas! Twilight’s lost gleaming. Thanks for reading.    

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