Treasure Island

Kim Addonizio

(July 31, 1954 / Washington, D.C)

What Do Women Want?


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.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003
Edited: Thursday, June 30, 2011

Do you like this poem?
2 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: red, birth, woman, women, world, brother, fear

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (What Do Women Want? by Kim Addonizio )

Enter the verification code :

  • Terence George Craddock (10/10/2012 11:00:00 PM)

    A beautiful expression of an individuals defiance of conformity and norms of social expectation. Written with courage skill defiance and the skill of a talented artist. (Report) Reply

  • elizaBeth Benson-Udom (1/11/2009 2:52:00 PM)

    yes
    luscious yes, yes, yes, yes, yes-
    i love this red dress image and the taking back of a sacred feminine
    gorgeous! thank you! (Report) Reply

  • Travis DeRali (8/11/2005 10:59:00 AM)

    Wow... what a great, great poem. I love it! I sent it to a lover in a red dress, and she felt the same way... in fact, she said that she owned a dress just like the one in the poem. The imagery is great, the descriptions dead on... grrrr.... can you get a crush on a woman in just twenty-seven lines? ;) (Report) Reply

  • Karima Isaacs (10/12/2004 7:51:00 AM)

    LOVE IT! The red dress. The colour of her rage. 'they' try to box us in, as women, try to make us NOT go for what we want, what our hearts desire, they try to calm us down, kill the fire in us. All by making us feel shame that we have no need to feel. So, yes, I think all women must want that dress at some point in their lives. (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Feminine Beauty, chanchal gupta
  2. Alone again, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  3. [Challenge] Entrees for September (Disqu.., Brian Johnston
  4. Indulgences, Jayatissa Liyanage
  5. From The Balcony, Heather Burns
  6. Ang undubai, Shri R Brahma
  7. 10 January 2014, Shri R Brahma
  8. October is next to September تشرين الاول.., MOHAMMAD SKATI
  9. October is next to September, MOHAMMAD SKATI
  10. I feel bored, MOHAMMAD SKATI

Poem of the Day

poet Edmund Spenser

My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,
But harder grows the more I her entreat?
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. My Love Is Like To Ice, Edmund Spenser
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  8. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  9. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  10. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]