Want, Need

Hunger’s the lesson best learned
from tasting with your hands.

Which is to say: before you
can eat, first you must skin

what refuses to yield, stoop
to plant deep in the soil

a branch or a seed that might grow
to fill the outline of your need.

Do you know what you really need?
I don’t either. All I know

is some days my longing is a wing
stretched bright across a quivering

spine. Some days it’s a road
at the end of which a furnace glows,

and not an inn on the way there
where the broth has not grown cold.

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