Kara Arguello


Ease up
Calm down

Soften up
Back down

Hush up
Simmer down

Tighten up
Slim down

Wake up
Quiet down

Toughen up
Lie down

Shape up
Settle down

Wise up
Tied down

Fucked up
Not beaten down

Attachment Theory

We were over before the first plane hit. I just hadn’t told him yet. There would be no wedding party in mountain air, no wine-soaked dancing in the lodge. Life was a marathon of laughs turning to quarrels in bars, cigarettes, smashed dashboards, hangover mornings in a narrow bed. I wanted to unzip my life, step out and leave it puddled like a dress on the floor. But then, September. Plane after plane. Bodies falling from the tower so high they looked like leaves floating down from a tree. Rubble, crumble, shards. Smoke suffocating the clear morning in city after city, even our tiny city. Panic put one hand over my mouth, the other around my throat.
And I didn’t leave him.

Kara Arguello was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now lives, works, cooks, mothers, and writes in San Jose, California. She has published poems most recently in Across the Margin, Blue Kettle Review, and Red Wheelbarrow. Her work has previously appeared in Cream City Review, The Fourth River, Sugar House Review, on the blog Eat This Poem, among others, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.