ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Poems by Miriam Kotzin


116 Plan B

Love may change
leaf meal to leaf,

leaf to blossom,
blossom to bud.

Now I may be
blossom, blossom,

blossom, but what
will love do when

I am no more
than a bare branch?



I rolled the paper
with your name
to a tight scroll,
my scrawl hugged
to itself like
a profession of faith.

You told me
yesterday is rain
in a desert        rain
in an arroyo
waiting with sentinel
cottonwoods    rain
water over rims
water cascading
water falling
into red rock
slot canyons
Red Rock
Echo Bell
Little Death Hollow.

You told me
today is a parrot
pale as her cuttlebone
you taught
pretty girl pretty girl pretty
girl to whistle the first
bars of “Casta Diva”
taught her to love
to cling to swing
on her pretty girl perch
to cling to the bars
of her pretty girl cage
a cage
I tell you is not



     “About suffering they were never wrong,”
            “Musée des Beaux Arts,” W. H. Auden

One in the crowd waves
as they all sprint
on the tarmac
   then past the lens
                        waves as if to say
 l am here I am here I am
here I am
                 Not carnival wing
walkers dare-devil thrill 
seekers, still they climb
up on in and cling
to the wheel well until
they can’t and then
someone takes a photo
and draws
                                a red circle
                                in the sky
            he is not Icarus who falls. 


Miriam N. Kotzin is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently, Debris Field (David Robert Books 2017).  Her novel, Right This Way, will be published by Spuyten Duyvil Press in 2022 joins, a novel, The Real Deal (Brick House Press 2012),  her collection of short fiction, Country Music (Spuyten Duyvil Press 2017), and a collection of flash fiction, Just Desserts (Star Cloud Press 2010).  Her fiction and poetry have been published in anthologies and numerous periodicals such as Shenandoah, Boulevard, SmokeLong Quarterly, Eclectica, Mezzo Cammin, Offcourse, and Valparaiso Poetry Review.  She teaches creative writing and literature at Drexel University. 

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