Lingering by Karen George

Our booths fused by a common base, 
a man behind me, back to back, sips coffee
and spills a story—Spanish syllables
coil and quell like the sea. 

I can't tell if the tale's full of gloom or glee, 
but the sluice of his voice joins my plunge 
into a novel (a man with a secret to reveal).

One more page before heading for Mom's
where, like thread spurred through a needle, 
I urge her to swallow pills 
neither of us believes 
will save her.    

Karen George is author of the poetry collection Swim Your Way Back (Dos Madres Press, 2014), and five chapbooks, most recently The Fire Circle (Blue Lyra Press, 2016), and an ekphrastic collaborative chapbook, Frame and Mount the Sky (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Her work has appeared in Adirondack Review, Naugatuck River Review, Heron Tree, and Louisville Review. She reviews poetry and interviews poets at Poetry Matters and is co-founder and fiction editor of the journal, Waypoint

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