Want, Need

     after the low-pitched whine and rumbling    the sound
of a snapped belt              the machine winds down 
      from spinning to     a long pause 

the clerk at the store       files her nails idly
she doesn't seem to want           to be there
               but there's nobody else on the floor

and we want a replacement       for what just broke
we say we need         before they turn the sign
over from open            to closed

she clicks on her computer     and scrolls
the catalog of many possible       desires or needs
       i may be old-              fashioned but i can't

or won't be brought       to saying want without
its immediate object    can't say for instance
            the want in my heart or in        my hollow  

bones                 come on, say the neon lights
they blink to fire up           that old knowing
        engine called desire      why can't we just

call it that, desire          for i can't bring
myself to say my want       for this condition
or for what brings     me to the crest     frothing

like laundry before the spin     cycle then spent, limp
i want is different       from my wants     the latter
        seems both coy and brazen      ungrammarly     i'll  

cringe if you tell me my wants      are selfish they seem
like someone else being described        wouldn't you
rather claim and proclaim    what it is exactly you desire              


      

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