I want this world.

For Desire

Give me the strongest cheese, the one that stinks best;
and I want the good wine, the swirl in crystal
surrendering the bruised scent of blackberries,
or cherries, the rich spurt in the back
of the throat, the holding it there before swallowing.
Give me the lover who yanks open the door
of his house and presses me to the wall
in the dim hallway, and keeps me there until I’m drenched
and shaking, whose kisses arrive by the boatload
and begin their delicious diaspora
through the cities and small towns of my body.
To hell with the saints, with the martyrs
of my childhood meant to instruct me
in the power of endurance and faith,
to hell with the next world and its pallid angels
swooning and sighing like Victorian girls.
I want this world. I want to walk into
the ocean and feel it trying to drag me along
like I’m nothing but a broken bit of scratched glass,
and I want to resist it. I want to go
staggering and flailing my way
through the bars and back rooms,
through the gleaming hotels and weedy
lots of abandoned sunflowers and the parks
where dogs are let off their leashes
in spite of the signs, where they sniff each
other and roll together in the grass, I want to
lie down somewhere and suffer for love until
it nearly kills me, and then I want to get up again
and put on that little black dress and wait
for you, yes you, to come over here
and get down on your knees and tell me
just how fucking good I look.

~ Kim Addonizio

Shamelessly used without permission, but it had to be shared today. The sun came out and music played loud and I turned a page in my journal and found it again. One of my most favourite poems. And there are many.

Click here to listen to Addonizio reading her poem, What Do Women Want?

Go buy her books.

21 responses
  1. Leah

    What an amazing poem. It gave me the shivers, I liked it so much. This is definitely going into my own journal.

  2. Jet Harrington

    That is fantastic. Her imagery is amazing – so precise.

  3. julie

    just cycled home through big drops of summer rain, thunder rolling. I´m still glowing from the sun that shone through branches where I sat soaking up the sun and words on pages.
    And then this poem – beautiful-goose-bump-making-resonance.
    Thank you xx

  4. Sharon Harkness

    Thank you for sharing that poem. It made me smile and take a deep breath and feel YES.

  5. Vicki


  6. Hannah Marcotti

    That was outrageously wonderful.

  7. Mel

    One of my favourites too:) I love her tone and the rush of emotion as you read it.

  8. Thursday

    Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous.

  9. Clare

    Wow, that’s powerful. This poem just became one of my faves! Thanks for sharing.

  10. ellie

    oh i love this, thank you hugely.

  11. natalea

    wonderful! thanks for sharing this Susannah, xo

  12. Heidi

    So, soooo great. Thank you for posting it. I also followed the link to “What Do Women Want” and, wow. Thank you, Susannah. xo

  13. michelle gd

    …beauty and power…

  14. TJ Wood

    I’ll be looking for more of her work–thank you for sharing…a new delight for me!

  15. Roxanne Galpin


  16. Lisa T.

    THIS made a tear spill from eye.
    THIS made a smile appear on my lips.
    THIS is how to live.

    Fully and truly.
    Real and raw.

    ABSO-f*cking-LUTELY brilliant.

    Thank you,
    Thank you.
    Thank you.

    xo, L.

  17. Lauren

    That is a rad. Love it. awesome…

  18. leoniewise


    {wanders off to Amazon}

  19. Carol

    Very touching poem. It is very beautiful and perfect ! I love this I would definitely share this poem in my book.

  20. Esther

    That poem was confronting, passionate and true. What an amazing poet. I’m going to look for more of her work!

  21. teryll

    one word came to mind after reading this lovely poem – PASSION!

Comments are closed.