Karina Chronicles

“What Do Women Want?”

image by Wardrobe Oxygen

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.


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