Colleen Nehmer is an emerging poet and life-long resident of Wisconsin. She currently lives in Brookfield with her husband and three teenagers. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Southern Poetry Review, Pedestal Magazine and Geometry.
Small Town Diner
White splatters on
a mud-colored bench
the only sign of
a momma swallow
and her chicks
the faded Pepsi-Cola sign.
First published in the 2018 Poets' Calendar
On the edge of our bathtub, I cut
your hair, the shank of your collarbone
steady beneath my palm. Slivers fall
to the floor like so much black chaff; fine-cut
hairs cling to your neck, warmth of bread dough and
August earth, onion skin and olive oil.
Into the morning, a coffee quickening
below your collar where silvery splinters
collect like lovers in Vulcan’s metal net,
forged in a volcano where men work by
glow of fire and force, to taper and swage and
temper the white heat into serial
beauty - riveted as we are, my dear,
the smell of your scalp remains between my
fingers, like the ink of Sunday’s paper;
the revenant of my slow hands,
the narrative I leave with you.
2017 WFOP Muse Contest Prize Winner