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Shuly Cawood

Shuly Cawood: I am the author of four books, including the poetry collection, Trouble Can Be So Beautiful at the Beginning, winner of the Adrienne Bond Award for Poetry. My creative writing has been published in places such as The New York Times, The Sun, and Brevity, among others. I doodle and run writing workshops. You can read more about my writing at

Your Story Here

I want to tell you a story.

I want to tell you a story with no end.

A story with a temper but a side of fruit.

A story with a stutter, a sneeze, a slow burn.

I want to tell you a story with lips and hips and a neck
brace. A story with wisdom teeth and a bar of chocolate
in its pocket and tricks and jacks and possibly an ax
up its sleeve.

A story with a trash can and torn raft and cracked
coffee mug, with a blue bowl of freshly washed kale.

What I mean is

a story that’s saintly but with secrets: the binge-
watch of a bad series, a little weed, an affair
that according to the story is over but never
is. I want to tell you a story with flip

flops and tongs and that one trip to Texas when everyone
drank too much tequila and no one paid the taxi driver and that one time
with the trapeze that everyone says couldn’t possibly have happened
but everyone still believes.

A story with no name but with a little black book. A story
with no address but with plenty of postcards from women seeking
apologies and from kids who still believe in Santa. A story

with an alley, a yellow galley kitchen, a pocket knife and wind chimes
that sway on summer nights, no longer waiting to be asked to dance.

A story with a heart murmur and strong legs, a punching bag
and an old Polaroid, a snow blower and a rodeo-worthy sombrero.

A story that comes with french fries and an opened gate

and a pond protected by a thousand

I want to tell you a story.

A story with no shame.

A story with a seventh inning. And broken glass. A steel bridge
and an addiction. With a bandana, bikini, Birkenstocks.

I want to tell you a story.

I want to tell you.

With a lighter, a lashing out,
a last kiss.

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