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First Edition features new original works by Northern California Jewish writers. Appearing the first issue of each month, it includes a poem and an excerpt from a novel or short story.

by elizabeth rosner

sometimes I am Jacob and

sometimes I am the angel and

always I am wrestling

with God or with the idea

of God or with the idea

of myself wrestling with God

(there is always a risk

in the naming of

things in the naming

of oneself)

the stones in my pockets

weighing me down

are also holding me


angels have no pockets and therefore can float

while I, who resist floating,

watch them rise with

something like envy and

something like rage

who can float in a time

like this, when the past

is still close enough

to touch and the sounds

of weeping linger so


isn’t it our grief that makes us real

makes us dimensional,

heavy on the earth?

I think of my grandmother’s

sweet hand, the weight

of it as she stroked my hair

to say good-bye, giving me

comfort because she was

the one leaving,

and her hand rinsed

me like water,

like falling water

photo/julia mcneal

Elizabeth Rosner of Berkeley is a poet, essayist and author of the best-selling novels “The Speed of Light“and “Blue Nude,” and the new novel “Electric City.” Her autobiographical poetry collection, “Gravity,” was published in October. www.elizabethrosner.com

Works may be submitted to fiction editor Ilana DeBare at [email protected] or poetry editor Joan Gelfand at [email protected]. Fiction excerpts may run up to 2,500 words, but only 800 words will appear in the print edition, with the rest appearing online. All prose and poetry published to date can be viewed at jweeklylit.wordpress.com.