It’s interesting that this is the poem I got in my inbox this morning from the Writer’s Almanac.
I’ve been doing my own meditation the past few months on need, love, want, desire, loneliness, companionship and meaning. And that’s the thing about poetry. I’ve probably darkened a hundred pages of writing with my large messy longhand, and in a few stanzas Linda Rodriguez covers what I’ve been writing and thinking about and struggling to express succintly.
I’ve always been a person with a surplus of love. The kind of love that can feel smothering and oppressive to humans (and boys in particular) and is better directed to objects of affection that don’t second-guess intensity: kids, puppies, flowers and plants, writing and art projects, squirrels and birds to be fed on California balconies. The opposite sex doesn’t do well with my kind of love, possibly because it’s a productive kind of love, that wans to fix, create, transform and express, that wants and needs to be constantly called upon, so yeah, puppies don’t mind.
Meditation on the Word Need
by Linda Rodriguez
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—
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,
I need you.