Strange that the self’s continuum should outlast
The Virgin, Aphrodite, and the Mourning Mother,
All loves and griefs, successive deities
That hold their kingdom in the human breast.
Abandoned by the gods, woman with an ageing body
That half remembers the Annunciation
The passion and the travail and the grief
That wore the mask of my humanity,
I marvel at the soul’s indifference.
For in her theatre the play is done,
The tears are shed; the actors, the immortals
In their ceaseless manifestation, elsewhere gone,
And I who have been Virgin and Aphrodite,
The mourning Isis and the queen of corn
Wait for the last mummer, dread Persephone
To dance my dust at last into the tomb.
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