By: Stephanie Kaplan Cohen


No, I didn’t commit suicide.

I did not jump off

the Empire State Building.


No matter how many tell

the story of a young girl

who jumped.


They speak of many years ago,

before the balcony was
enclosed. They saw


with their own eyes,

a desperate young girl

her coat fluttering behind


jumped, jumped, jumped.

With their own eyes

they saw it.


Look, here I am.


But not my coat.

It was, in the style of the time
thrown over my shoulders,


and that new red coat of mine
was embraced by the wind.

It flew, it fluttered.


People screamed

while it cavorted in the breeze

until it came to land


on the top of a now-defunct

store, B. Altman by name.

And because it was


so long ago, the store was closed.

In those golden years

stores were closed on Sundays.


My cousin and I

traipsed across the street

and told the superintendent


My coat was on his roof.

His eyes widened,

without a word,


he entered the elevator

and in a few minutes, came down

holding the rag of my coat.


But look at me.

I’m still here,

but not my new red coat.

Stephanie Kaplan Cohen has been published in many literary journals as well as The New York Times. Her memoir, In My Mother’s House, was published by Woodley Books and her poetry books, Additions and Subtractions and Body Work, have been published by Plain View Press. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. For many years she wrote the column “Ask Stephanie” for the Alzheimer’s Association Quarterly in Westchester and Putnam, New York. She is also an editor of The Westchester Review. Stephanie has had many public and private fiction and poetry readings, and her work has been read on NPR.