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12

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This year, on that day of red flowers, redder hearts, and inflamed ids, Mary D. Esselman and Elizabeth Ash Velez want you to know that you’re not alone—and that the soul-pulverizing humiliation of rejection will one day wear off. Their proof: poetry. In The Hell With Love: Poems to Mend a Broken Heart, the editors have compiled literary consolation for the eight stages of breakup, including blinding rage (“you fit into me/like a hook into an eye,” seethes Margaret Atwood), self-hatred (“I sleep with the cat/when no one will have me,” laments Sandra Cisneros), and moving on (“…this is the birth/day of life and of love and wings…,” sings e.e. cummings). Esselman and Velez assuage at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1239 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Free. (202) 347-3686. (Jennifer Agresta)