To Be Needed
(Lamentings of an unwanted courting)
by Cynthia Pettit
(Feb. 10, 1997)

I walked among gentle virgins
 swamped in loneliness
I had my pick of desperation
 and chose the ones withdrawn

And taught them in the quiet twilight
 to open windows into light
And I gave all I had to give
 it was what I needed most

They surrounded me with open mouthes
 and clumsy, groping hands
Like to suckling children
 I offered them my breast
And seeing them fulfilled
 was extacy
 that substitued well for love...

But, in the end, I needed more
 than being needed gave me
And eventually when I ran dry
 (though still I needed needing)
I slashed the ligaments to my heart
 to save my life

Now no longer being needed
 (yet given until dry)
Breaking up was excrutiating

Knawing off the part of me ensnared

I was left with nothing.

And, swamped with loneliness
 I merely look around
 and take my pick of desperation
And give until I'm dry
 and then until I'm lonely

Thus the spiral turned again...

...until so small it turned within

Yet, they still surround me
 open mouthed
Sometimes the needing pulls me down
 as if I'd drown
And with my arms across my face
 I run inside myself

I run away

How does one go about
 breaking someone's heart?
When it only comes in need?
 oblivious to subtle rebuff?

Do I merely run away?

But to confront with clear rejection
Is only to admit to something
 that before was only feigned
And it will certainly be met with
 fake indignance

Yet, the language of the heart
 cries high in twilight
It is hard to shut the windows
 on the plaintive mewing

But I now need more than needing
And for once want gifts and presents
 not just acceptance

I want my kindness to be matched
 not just appreciated

Someone to fit what I have wanted
 Not merely need the things I am.

This time, I will orbit 'round him
 But I can also give to him
And so not need his gravity
 as they had needed me

As two suns, sharing flares
 We will light eachother

And I will be a child again
 not a mother

and finally be complete


While I was drenched with innocense
 I had to question cruel rejection
To comprehend why gentle men
 found only coldness for them

But now, I, too, have turned away
 and face a new direction
I narrow my selection
 forcing me to see rejection
 making clear what is rejection
 and in rejecting find rejection
 and for once appreciate rejection