Marty McConnell is a Chicago-based poet and writer. I've come across her before, but sometimes you read things and they just resonate - this one didn't so much resonate as it floored me. Strong and raw, straight from the heart and full of hurt. I'm not about to go getting too personal here, don't worry. And why would I when she says it all, and better… Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell

leaving is not enough; you must
stay gone. train your heart
like a dog. change the locks
even on the house he’s never visited.
you lucky, lucky girl.
you have an apartment just your size.
a bathtub full of tea.
a heart the size of Arizona, but not nearly so arid.
don’t wish away your cracked past, your crooked toes,
your problems are papier mache puppets
you made or bought because the vendor
at the market was so compelling you just had to have them.
you had to have him.
and you did.
and now you pull down the bridge
between your houses.
you make him call before he visits.
you take a lover for granted,
you take a lover who looks at you
like maybe you are magic.
make the first bottle
you consume in this place a relic.
place it on whatever altar
you fashion with a knife and five cranberries.
don’t lose too much weight.
stupid girls are always trying
to disappear as revenge.
and you are not stupid.
you loved a man with more hands
than a parade of beggars,
and here you stand.
heart like a four-poster bed.
heart like a canvas.
heart leaking something so strong
they can smell it in the street.

Originally published in Salt Hill Journal.