Desire by Molly McKaughan

Photo of blond woman in pink dress
Photo by Urban Gyllstrom on Unsplash

I sit at the bar
at Café Un, Deux, Trois
on West 43rd
and cross my legs
and swivel toward the room
glass of wine in hand
nylons shining
skirt above my knee.
I cross my legs
and the heel of my shoe
slides off just a bit
as I raise my toe up and down.
I catch a man’s eye at one table
then another.
I have what they desire
but will not get.
Mother of two, forty-plus
married in the burbs.
I love making them want it.
It sets me up for
the whole bus ride home.

Molly McKaughan
Molly McKaughan’s poetry has been published in Ms., The Paris Review, and many small journals. Her nonfiction book, The Biological Clock, was published by Doubleday and Penguin/Putnam. A collection of her poetry, Recovering Myself, is available through

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