“Catharsis ” by Phil Lane


Sometimes we look this gift horse —life—
in the mouth, ungrateful
as tramps, uncouth as
the angry young man,
the last just fella
who always
comes in last;
Some of us sleep in the rain,
soaked to the skin
under a nebulous sky
without parasol or prayer,
we toil and tremble in the spit
but never get cleansed.
Sometimes in the last place
you look, in a corner
of your own dust, you find
a fragment of heaven,
fleeting before it is forgotten;
Sometimes morning breaks
over sun-soaked sheets
and you stretch, somehow
taller than you were
yesterday, while today stretches
out like a bounty,
an orchard at apple-time,
And so you take this
moment, this farthing
and forsake it in your pocket,
a coin you found heads-up
on a city sidewalk
amid the concrete
chasms, the chimera,
and the cold,
calculated hopelessness—