While most of us would like to fast-forward through romantic breakups, zooming straight past the tight chest, stomach knots, and weak bones, poet Yesika Salgado is commemorating the anguish. In her first book, Corazón — Spanish for "heart" or "darling" — the Salvadoran-American writer celebrates heartbreak.
The book of poetry, published by Not A Cult on Oct. 12, is about the unceasing hunger for love. Salgado, the daughter of immigrants, longs for love the way her parents pined for their native land: a romanticized yearning that forgets the suffering that home sometimes begets. When Salgado feeds her craving with a new lover, she is reminded again of all the ways it is not enough, but that never stops her from searching for a romance as succulent as the mangos hanging on her grandmother's tree back in the old country.
“Heartbreak is worth celebrating because it’s proof that you’re willing to put it all on the table," Salgado tells Bustle. "Many of us experience heartbreak more than once, so the fact that you keep going back to love, despite heartbreak, is a beautiful miracle. Instead of feeling ashamed of it, I want to acknowledge the beauty there is to love after love keeps hurting you. Having a stubborn heart isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”
"Heartbreak is worth celebrating because it’s proof that you’re willing to put it all on the table."
Corazón is a love story, with 67 poems categorized into the five stages of romance: “The Hunger,” seeking the next lover on the dance floor, “The Fruit,” starting a tender new affair, “The Bruising,” ending the relationship, “The Ache,” living the pain of the loss, and “The Return,” falling back in love — with yourself, your life, your family, your career, your friends and, one day, another partner.
“I tell people that it’s a love story because that’s how I intended it to read, but it’s not about the relationship that’s described within the book. It’s a love story with myself, and learning to be OK through anything that happens with my partners, life, family, and all of that," Salgado says. "It’s a story of triumph."
The self-described “fat fly brown girl” is famous around the Interwebs (you can follow her on Instagram and Twitter) for providing boss ladies with sentimental poetry they can cry to between dominating in their careers and partying with their homegirls, and Corazón — filled with heart-wrenching poetry about failed love, exes who move on, as well as owning your fly and living life on your terms — doesn’t disappoint.
"It’s a love story with myself... It’s a story of triumph."
For the Los Angeles-based writer, celebrating heartbreak isn’t wallowing on those who wounded us but rather sharing with others the good and bad memories of another lost, or rocky, relationship. It’s the sisterhood that grows while making a joke of the last thief to steal your heart.
“I celebrate heartbreak by sharing it with other women," she says. "What I’ve learned is that all women have learned to savor heartbreak in this way: sit at table with homegirls and talk about it, talk about how your man ain’t shit, or how he is f*ckin' up again, or how you love him and have to figure it out. We don’t all know what motherhood is, or maybe what marriage looks like, or what success feels like, but I damn sure guarantee we all know heartbreak. It’s a universal feeling, so communicating it with each other is like breaking bread with somebody else.”
With Corazón, Salgado wants readers to partake in pan dulce with her — crying, yelling, laughing or loving together through each poem and bite.
"...we all know heartbreak. It’s a universal feeling, so communicating it with each other is like breaking bread with somebody else."
“I just want them to know that love is messy and painful and ugly, but it’s also beautiful and so much more than the one relationship that didn’t work," she says. "So he didn’t love you? Cool. You’re still amazing, and you still got you."