Dry waterfall 

                           that eventually, almost, 
the skull resembled— 

And then the skull was just 

a skull. 
              The heart— 
at last nothing 

but a muscle moving, 

not at all the talisman you’d imagined: 
how if only you could touch it—how 
everything, everything might 

yet be different 
if you did . . . 
                        Is this 

                     or the cost of it? 

If the mind seems 

increasingly a landscape 
where brush and desert, dry 
prairie, and chaparral 

                  is this that landscape, 
or the abandoned 
set, finally, for one of those movies 

that take place there: sudden 

sandstorm, each man 
immediately dismounting, each blinding, 
with whatever cloth available, 

his horse’s eyes . . . 

                                    That much, still, 
is true, isn’t it?—the horse 
comes first? then you do?