Kim Addonizio

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

What Do Women Want? - Poem 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 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.


Comments about What Do Women Want? by Kim Addonizio

  • The Poet Poet (8/25/2016 3:18:00 PM)

    now I have researched
    across the internet
    most women want sex
    with men
    few with only women
    try and visit google
    4 me
    no clothes (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Jasbir Chatterjee Jasbir Chatterjee (5/31/2016 6:39:00 AM)

    I like the way it's written, especially the voluptuousness of this poem. But I am not sure if one can generalize and say that this is what all women want. Self-assertion doesn't come from just wearing provocative dresses; it comes from within too. (Report) Reply

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra Subhas Chandra Chakra (4/27/2016 1:12:00 AM)

    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.

    Wow...what a poem..It's the story of a free bird on a free planet unlike our Earth.
    Bravo..poetess. I loved the theme.
    A perfect 10 for it. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal Mohammed Asim Nehal (1/1/2016 8:54:00 AM)

    And you are given a red dress.
    a flimsy and cheap,
    and it will be too tight, I want to wear it
    until someone tears it off me. (Report) Reply

  • The Poet Poet (12/30/2015 3:10:00 PM)

    sadly beautifully marvelous
    but hope u enjoyed it once at least
    with some one you wanetd to
    badly (Report) Reply

  • 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

  • Gareth Armstrong (1/13/2009 10:18:00 AM)

    Delicious and sexy, confident and excitingly, playfully aggressive. Wonderful. (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

  • Reshma Ramesh (9/24/2008 4:02:00 AM)

    beautiful............. (Report) Reply

  • Rev. Dr. A. Jacob Hassler (6/7/2006 11:40:00 AM)

    sweet Jesus, this poem is sexy and affirmative! awesome.

    Jake (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

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



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

Poem Edited: Thursday, June 30, 2011


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