by: Kara Arguello
The lines “the kind of green that drags you down the stairs/ out the door into the damp hopeful air/ of Pennsylvania spring” from one of these two masterful poems by Kara Arguello act like a key to reading. Whether about something concrete like the loss of a music icon, or more abstract like the wish for deeper, more penetrating sight, they engage their subject matter and then transport the reader beyond it.
Searching for Chris Cornell
The drawbridge over Lake Union
opens its arms to the late low sun.
It’s halfway between something
and nothing―brimming wineglass,
And it doesn’t remind me of anything.
Rainier a white wizard over my
shoulder, illuminated, quiet.
Enough is never enough.
I think you grew up a liar too,
your heart an empty bag
rattling around a bus stop on exhausted breeze.
Each sidewalk in this town is a
climb. I seek you in every step,
find only precious birdskull
on the curb; winding stairs to a front door.
I don’t hear any guitars
in Seattle today.
with apologies to Cate Marvin
Your ocular gaps are chopping block blue,
thin skin inside an eggshell blue, line of the knife
blue. No one could call them
rusted globe blue, tippled camaraderie blue,
save our country’s soul blue.
Instead they are jays in the cornfield blue,
scrub grass by the barn door blue, dancing fire
on the roof at midnight.
My optic apertures are dark woolen scarves,
wine barrel brown, ragged edge of the map
brown, eluding honor brown, stacked in the woodpile
behind the house. They’ve always been
count every step in my head, don’t stop
to enjoy the light, please look at me eyes.
When I was young I wished for peacock peepers,
neck of a slender vase green.
I coveted those optics of bus to Manhattan green,
don’t stop in the middle of the bridge green,
the kind of green that drags you down the stairs
out the door into the damp hopeful air
of Pennsylvania spring.
You might want me
if they were
something big is about to happen
Kara Arguello was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now lives, works, and writes in San Jose, California. She has had poems recently featured in Blue Kettle Review and Caesura. Prior work has appeared in Red Wheelbarrow, Cream City Review, DNA (Dragonfly Press), The Fourth River, Sugar House Review, Aperçus Quarterly, and Snail Mail Review, among others, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.