i’m starting to be startled       by the way time passes

it seems to fall out              like clumps of hair

its November         the Hudson river’s all gooseflesh and silver

the history books sing of trains, souls boarding and riding       till the end

of the line         i dream California lemons        oranges             i dream courage  and packing a

may i never be desperate           as early Americans.           may i nevertheless hum

a song for shedding,            a song for new skin             a song for lemons
and i leave it         here

my things        my life         all that heavies and holds me.

may i never starve            may i nevertheless aim

an arrow out past           the desert of my longing

like that train of prepared souls

going          and going        to meet the sea.

Mara Michael Jebsen is a poet, essayist, singer and storyteller based in Brooklyn. She teaches essay writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Mara is a 2009 New York Foundation for the Arts fellow in poetry and recently completed a collection of poems entitled The Panorama Angels. She is now at work on the vanishing point, a piece of storytelling/theatre.