Alex Niemi

woodmouth trappings
on a cold winter’s night
unfortunately it’s not
a wes anderson movie where

you were married in a desert
where love dies forever in a desert
the peg-legged elephant
watching while
the train opens the way for you

you can try on as many
dresses as you like
like white like pale blue while

the sun scrapes the heat
under your hems

the sun warps the air the
sand rides into your eyes

you don’t remember walking
past the scorpions down the aisle

the elephant anoints you
with his trunk




You swim in pudding

guide your face gently against

it’s cool surface


There are no trees standing
backs to the desert
The sand roots
under the petunias

No one lumbers greatly
into the forest
No one pegs deep holes
in the grass




(Alone by the birds. Will fattens the chickens into fandom. Candles burn the sea into tiny caves. I wonder if there are any pictures of the peg-legged elephant. Would they cover his face in ceremony.)

He tells me that the conversion of the love object into air—

Reality turns white when turning the braid of sadness I imagine the strands color the innermost—

It’s also a relief to be unloved
he thought to me
there are infinite—

A stripe of green means—

Will you bury?

I only require.




Why are you here? Covering
the holes in the packages
so tenderly
with your gnarled trunk

The clerk stares at me as
I pull the receipt of you
from my mouth

Only the clatter of the peg
is written down the strip

The clerk moors infinite jars
of jam to the shelves
while he watches
the confession fall from my face




It is unlikely

to be a peg-legged cloud

but I see your gentle formation

drifting above tree branches

when it hurts

does your body know

the shape of the moon?

I’ve carried you

into the roots of trees

and buried you

in soft moss.
The tree trunks
sweat with ecstasy
They dream of walking
We invented their dream
of walking
Dragged their flowery spines
over the images
I made of you 




After the table carvings I issued myself into the basement. I looked for the roots of the stove, the source of the heat, but I only found the half-dead vampires yearning for the blood of our elephant and I promised to never tell them where to find you while I searched for the heat below.

I wrote a story about the length of your trunk in glass. I shattered it over the head of my last lover. Two babelian shots on autopilot I worship you. I worship the absence of you like an oak tree in the desert. I am full of pointless mercy.