“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 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.

“What Do Women Want?” by Kim Addonizio from Tell Me

5 thoughts on ““What Do Women Want?” by Kim Addonizio

  1. I had a backless dress once. It was white and ruffled and beautiful. I wore it skinnydipping in the moonlight one night with the man who is now my husband. I don’t know what happened to that dress. God, how I loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh la la! Sounds very romantic!
      I had a black dress, and in the front it looked quite innocent. But the back? Backless and scooped low to the waist where it gathered in layers of white chiffon that trailed down to the floor.

      Every woman should own a backless dress at some point in her life. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. There is just something about having “that dress” that’s empowering and liberating–no matter weight, size or body image issues. I have one that my daughter tells me not to wear while my hubby is begging me to 😉
    I must know…where do you find all of these words? Your brain must be a cataloged library!


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