23 April 2010

"What Do Women Want?"

by Kim Addonizio

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what's underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty's and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their cafe, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I'm the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I'll pull that garment
from its hanger like I'm choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I'll wear it like bones, like skin,
it'll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.


  1. I love Kim's poem! I don't even wear dresses (partly because I live in the Windy City and I'm afraid I'll end up like Marilyn Monroe getting my skirt blown up every five seconds), but now I want that red dress too.

  2. I do wear dresses, but never something like this. I admit, though, this poem makes me want one just like it, with red stilettos to match!


Add a little caffeine to my life...