Volume 69, Number 1 · Fall 2019

Almanac for Nonbelievers

I study time by light,
the ridge, rain-dark and snow-
etched, a book of days
behind glass. Climbing the mountain
is good for a few hours,
but voices never stay
on the ridge, they deride
my footsteps, that I have
footsteps, that my skin slices
open at the least touch
of rough, that I am big
and small, prone to breaking.
My center of gravity
is in my gut, not in my chest.
I cannot read the mountain,
and hear rustling leaves
too late. Whatever was there
is gone. God, again.

Ellen Goldstein was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is the author of Stuff Every Beer Snob Should Know, which was published by Quirk Books in 2018. Her writing appears in journals such as Post Road, the Common, Tahoma Literary Review, Lunch Ticket, and elsewhere. Her work also appears in the anthologies Spectral Lines, Not Quite What I Was Planning, Letters to the World, The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, and Queer South, which was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.