on what women want, part II ...

"What do Women Want?"
~ 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 café, 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.



soubriquet said...

I love this poem. I love its defiance. You know, we'd be at our windows cheering her, watching her strut down the street, watching people realise that they'd better damn well get out of the way, or she'll march right through them.
That dress, her statement, her proclamation, her banner, her war cry.
We men, we'd watch her. And hope her eyes would stop on us. Hope we'd see that little tip of the head that says "You! Here, right now".

Adullamite said...


red dirt girl said...

The prettiest dresses are worn to be taken off.
… Jean Cocteau

Anonymous said...

I hope you get your dress, but you'll have to find someone else to tear it off of you. I'm much too intimidated!

You know I'm not a poetry person but I really love that one. It doesn't try too hard to be obscure, does it!

You're tops, mule friend!

red dirt girl said...

Hi Dave!

LOL - indeed, I do want that life affirming, take charge red dress. I just hope it doesn't rip into shreds when someone else tears it off of me. You are right to be intimidated. I'm not sure I want it torn off and would probably fight the offender.

You ARE a poetry person. You like poetry that is up-front, frank, personal - as you say - one that doesn't try to be obscure. I've known you to like at least one other poem:


So I'm not giving up on you!
you're the best, Dave.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this is a great poem. I like the part where she says she can have her pick I know thats right! I earmarked this one back when Souby put it in your comments. Gonna use it someday.

red dirt girl said...

Hi cowboy!

Kudos for you for liking a woman who knows what she wants .... and gets it!


SL said...

Love this poem, love the attitude!

red dirt girl said...

Hi SL!

Happy holidays. You're in good company. This poem is definitely a keeper.