Some Kind of Shy by Cathy Ulrich

When you tell the man you bring back to your hotel room I’m shy, he says you don’t seem shy as he’s unzipping your dress, hands slick along your spine, but you don’t mean it like that, you mean it like keep the lights low and the music high, like close your eyes and don’t tell me your name, like tell me I’m pretty, like if I close my eyes, I can pretend your mouth belongs to someone else, like the seven bourbon drinks you swallowed down and down and down, like the way you danced with your purse hanging off your shoulder, like the rough hands that don’t feel like his at all, like all those promises easily broken as spider threads, but you just say not like that and let the dress fall away from your body in the bright room.


Cathy Ulrich wishes there were places to go dancing in her town that didn’t always play Country Western. Her work has been published in various journals, including Vast Chasm, Puerto del Sol and Ecotone.

Photography by Kai Cheng (@akaicheng)