Sue William Silverman: Two Poems

Sue William Silverman has a poetry collection, Hieroglyphics in Neon, published with Orchises Press. She is also the author of three memoirs. The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew is part of the American Lives Series with the University of Nebraska Press. Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs award in creative nonfiction. Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction, published with W. W. Norton, is also a Lifetime TV movie. Her craft book is Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir, and she teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. For more information please visit


If the Girl Stalks the Man

and rings his doorbell
that echoes through memory –
a house untamable
as weather peering through windows
opaque with longing.

If he grabs her arm sleeved
in recklessness, the ticking
clock stops
at the worst possible
minute in the past.

His desire is mute
as crockery, so the girl
cracks hairline
fissures through blind
assignations. Her desire bright

and wild as pollen.


If Love Is Here Every Day!

The girl lurks under the Jersey Shore
boardwalk, black leather, hair
braiding her to the pillar,
where this promise is sprayed.

The Ferris wheel circles
the moon, the boardwalk
splinters with smutty
kisses. A camera captures

her acquiescence and defiance.
She reads a novel, fading
into fiction and darkness, her
mouth pink cotton candy.

A man’s tissue-
paper-thin breath trembles
in expensive moonlight.
His luminous shirt shines

like a star in wind piercing
a sallow sky. She swallows
a mouthful of light.

cars speed toward Atlantic
foam, salt bruises
her tongue. The season
is over. The girl’s wan

smile is a last carousel ride,
wood horses distorted
in mirrors. She’d translate
her body back into its own

language, if only she could.

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