On my last trip to Ireland we were in a pub every night for music “sessions”. Reciting poetry for me substituted for musical performance, as I am unable to carry a tune or play an instrument.
My original poetry is a little over-the-top, borderline erotica. I did do a bit of that. This poem by Kim Addonizio rocked the house. It was such a hit at the pubs, I had to share it with my loveandmedicine readers.
It is a great expression of the opposing forces that drive women and the reason men love us.
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.