Meditation on the Word Need

The problem with words of emotion
is how easily meaning drains
from their fiddle-sweet sounds
and they become empty instruments.
I can say love
and mean desire to give—
open-handed, open-hearted—
or I am drawn to the light
shining from your soul—
or my life is empty without you—
or I want to run my hands
and mouth down the length of you—
or all of these at once.

Need, now, is a plain word.
I need a nail to hang this picture.
I need money to pay my bills.
I need air and light,
water and food,
shelter from storm and sun and cold.
To be healthy,
to be sane,
to survive,
I need you.

– Linda Rodriguez

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