Cecil Castellucci: “Cassandra Speaks”

I’d like to tell you something

I think your husband is ugly

I don’t say it in a mean way

I say it as an observer

And as someone who doesn’t like you


It’s not his fault

The bad skin

Or thin hair

But I assume he did have a voice when it came to the choosing of you


I know you played him

Poor guy


I’d like to warn him


It must bother you

That I can see plainly

that all the straw you weave

is still just straw

No matter how much of it you try to pass off as gold


I always point it out

To friends and strangers

How sad you are

With your made up face

And plastic smile



like a heartless doll


I try to remember that while I was actually wounded in the war

You just like to play at being killed


So what a disappointment

That when I finally met you

I saw your hat was made of felt, not silk

And you looked like anyone else

but still, you play the part beautifully


Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth, The Year of the Beasts, Odd Duck and the upcoming Tin Star.  Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, YARN, Tor.com, Apex, Black Clock and various anthologies. She is the YA editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books and Children’s Correspondence Coordinator for The Rumpus

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