The Great Year

There is an exchange of all things for fire and fire for all things, as goods for gold
and gold for goods.

– Heraclitus

There is an old law, forged in the tuning of earth and sky
that nothing may come round in time except what holds
forever in the starry net of returns. If ever you lay in mothlit grass
saying whatever else you sang now, you’d sing to each other,
if once you felt the bow of stars drawn taut
behind your breastbone and believed you were going there, if even once
you saw the skies align and time slide into joint – then yes, whatever
you sang you’ll sing again, when the time flares once more with its unmaking,
bright hinge where intervening years are gathered as dead leaves
and cash for kindling.

These nights the skies are so clear, planets lined up for the perfect
shot, and your Venus among them, a sparkler of cold fire – it’s almost possible
to imagine a world going on beyond us, intact. What we have understood
too early, too late, returns now in its time – your long flight from
and the winding-up felt in us down here, like the archer’s readiness.
Ride the changes, you say. And I don’t know, I don’t know,
but every year come October I’m on my way again
to what we’ve missed in these bright paths
of falling and flight, here where all the lights
align into a single shining, where all our arrows sing together
in one arch the same whether we are coming or going,
leaving, being left.

From The Half-Life of Oracles
by Sarah Feldman