What do women want? by Kim Addonizio

I found this poem while reading a thought provoking article “My Slutty Dress” by Sonya Krzywoszyja. I really like this poem because it captures many ideas of freedom through clothing and social expectations. I’d love to have the confidence to wear that red dress – although it also seems like a curse.


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.



Filed under feminism, writing

2 responses to “What do women want? by Kim Addonizio

  1. GailWrites

    Sounds like a lot of rage buried under that little red dress.

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