The Needs of Humans

I am in need of a manicure. / A manticore. A man to cure.

A portrait of poet Sarah Wolfson

I am in need of a manicure.
A manticore. A man to cure.
A cure-all. A curiosity. A
costume shop. A wholesaler
of the sea’s calcic treasures.
A pair of puddle jumpers, size four.
An extra U-lock. A vampire
metaphor. Some zebra stripes
to describe an angry octopus.
A sheep to take me back to
childhood, an electric fence,
and the perfect willow reed
with which to reach out and
receive the shock. I need
the rumour of a rabid fox
to spark a lifetime of imagined
illnesses. Some thin ice to wave
at the many ways of escape. A
good milk cow. A single rectangular
pupil to uphold my idea of
ideation. A skin rash, hay induced.
A small brook with a slippery rock,
a curtain of moss. An afternoon.
All of it. And ticks, drinking
themselves to perfect sickness
by the four-thousand-fold on
the hirsute moose’s hide. Someone
close. Someone who knows.
Someone who where there’s a will,
there’s a. I need a way. And a
why. Moreover, I need a lone
black sock. An open foundation.
A short report about the ordinary
mating habits of crickets.

Sarah Wolfson
Sarah Wolfson is the author of A Common Name for Everything, which won the 2020 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. She teaches writing at McGill University.

Make this Giving Tuesday - "Giving NewsDay" and Donate now.

Giving Tuesday is a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, share, and celebrate generosity. In turbulent times, we need that generosity more than ever. We depend on your support to keep our journalism accessible and independent. From vaccine misinformation to political polarization, the challenges our society is facing today are too important for half-truths. Fund the journalism we need now, and you will automatically be entered to WIN a $5,000 CanadaHelps charity gift card that can be used to further support The Walrus and the charities and causes you care about.