like a snail with a shell of sticks

    — she loads them on her back —

Like a camel with a hump of sticks

    — on her back, on her back —

Like a horse with a knight of sticks and a stick for a sword

Where is she taking this load of sticks?

    — on her hump, on her hump —

She has no house, where is she taking the house she doesn’t have?

    — in the fire she is taking it in the fire —

In the fire she is making a poem entirely out of sticks on fire and it goes like this


Copyright © 2024 by Valzhyna Mort. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 25, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.