The doer of good by Oscar Wilde

It was night-time and He was alone.

And He saw afar-off the walls of a round city and went towards the
city.

And when He came near He heard within the city the tread of the
feet of joy, and the laughter of the mouth of gladness and the loud
noise of many lutes. And He knocked at the gate and certain of the
gate-keepers opened to Him.

And He beheld a house that was of marble and had fair pillars of
marble before it. The pillars were hung with garlands, and within
and without there were torches of cedar. And He entered the house.

And when He had passed through the hall of chalcedony and the hall
of jasper, and reached the long hall of feasting, He saw lying on a
couch of sea-purple one whose hair was crowned with red roses and
whose lips were red with wine.

And He went behind him and touched him on the shoulder and said to

him, ‘Why do you live like this?’

And the young man turned round and recognised Him, and made answer
and said, ‘But I was a leper once, and you healed me. How else
should I live?’

And He passed out of the house and went again into the street.

And after a little while He saw one whose face and raiment were
painted and whose feet were shod with pearls. And behind her came,
slowly as a hunter, a young man who wore a cloak of two colours.
Now the face of the woman was as the fair face of an idol, and the
eyes of the young man were bright with lust.

And He followed swiftly and touched the hand of the young man and
said to him, ‘Why do you look at this woman and in such wise?’

And the young man turned round and recognised Him and said, ‘But I
was blind once, and you gave me sight. At what else should I
look?’

And He ran forward and touched the painted raiment of the woman and
said to her, ‘Is there no other way in which to walk save the way
of sin?’

And the woman turned round and recognised Him, and laughed and
said, ‘But you forgave me my sins, and the way is a pleasant way.’

And He passed out of the city.

And when He had passed out of the city He saw seated by the
roadside a young man who was weeping.

And He went towards him and touched the long locks of his hair and
said to him, ‘Why are you weeping?’

And the young man looked up and recognised Him and made answer,
‘But I was dead once, and you raised me from the dead. What else
should I do but weep?’

Baldwin By E. Ethelbert Miller

you lie in bed listening,
waiting, fearing the moment
your father returns home. you
listen to voices talking in the
next room and wonder why you are
still afraid of the dark. his voice
in the other room you would love to
kiss. you cannot see your face in the
dark but the blackness is there, like
his back. if only he would
open the door and look at you. maybe
the light would be in his eyes,
his voice.

Sunset Park by Patrick Phillips

The Chinese truck driver
throws the rope
like a lasso, with a practiced flick,

over the load:
where it hovers an instant,
then arcs like a willow

into the waiting,
gloved hand
of his brother.

What does it matter
that, sitting in traffic,
I glanced out the window

and found them that way?
So lean and sleek-muscled
in their sweat-stiffened t-shirts:

offloading the pallets
just so they can load up
again in the morning,

and so on,
and so forth
forever like that—

like Sisyphus
I might tell them
if I spoke Mandarin,

or had a Marlboro to offer,
or thought for a minute
they’d believe it

when I say that I know
how it feels
to break your own

back for a living.
Then again,
what’s the difference?

When every light
for a mile turns
green all at once,

no matter how much
I might like
to keep watching

the older one squint
and blow smoke
through his nose?

Something like sadness,
like joy, like a sudden
love for my life,

and for the body
in which I have lived it,
overtaking me all at once,

as a bus driver honks
and the setting
sun glints, so bright

off a windshield
I wince and look back
and it’s gone.