Poetry: Haley Hodges | Cassandra Voices

Poetry: Haley Hodges


Faking It

When Cleopatra rolled
Out of the rug, she thought:

Don’t worry! Even if
I do not enjoy your performance,
You will enjoy mine—a lot.

I’d like to credit myself
As an actress, but the truth
About men is: I’ve yet
To meet one unwilling
To believe he is a singularly
Exceptional lover—yeah, baby.

I am your captain aboard the Beguile,
Cruising down that long denial
With no wish to make things
Worse by undeceiving
You—mm, hail Caesar
I offer half-lidded eyes and
All the right sounds at all
The right times and rely
On the fact that truly
What you pay close attention to
(Unduly) is yourself. You’re watching
Me, but it’s astounding—genuinely—
What you won’t see, though you should—
There, right there, that’s good.

Charming, cunning queen, lay the tracks,
Set the stage and land the scene. He’ll believe
Because he wants to—oh, I want you
And yet you’ll wish that you’d stayed home—
It wasn’t worth the trip to Rome.


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