Stick warriors bristle
alongside lances and titling swords
incised into cracked stone
chariots seen from the sky
horses’ legs, insect thin, splayed out
as if a weight had fallen on them.
Some figures bear small discs on handles
mirrors, the label says.
Why would warriors need mirrors?
Maybe – the thought pricks –
they’re for scrying what is to come
for we walk backwards
into the future, unseeing.
Some ancient cultures such as the Greeks and peoples of the Near East
conceived of us as going backwards into the future, since it cannot be seen.
high on the tricky radiance of happening
glitches and mutations
complexity that grows and falls away
oscillation of invisible strings
vibrations that make all matter
the music of the spheres
and the bump in data
deep in an underground chamber
the god particle
that gave substance to the universe
your spirits spinning in the infinite regress
of the final secret.
I thought it was a flake of ash
on swirling brown waters
I thought it was the light of a person
ghosting the dark sky
I thought of all the poems about it
and the silence.
Not virgin saints calmly bearing water in a sieve
or smirking witches whisking over the sea in a sieve
but nervy little beings, dirt under our fingernails
the sun accidentally haloing our hair
who soar and plummet, every chancy day.