Below the gray-tinted waters of my beloved Hudson River is a mother lode of obsidian sludge. It inhales auto tires and amateur divers in a single soulless breath. By night bottom feeders and drug dealers are dumped there routinely; their putrid bloated bellies slap against harbor buoys marking nautical miles. But now my childhood river is a horizontal horror bulging with body parts of the unlucky, the unworthy, and the unwanted. Below the gray-tinted waters are barrels of broken promises bought and paid for by General Electric factories lining the river banks that were our playground. But our future is not their future. Their offspring are not exposed to the black mayonnaise blanketing the riverbed and challenging the notion we are one nation. I once dreamt of the pristine paradise that welcomed the Old-World explorers who sailed up the Hudson Valley. How they met native people and native plants and touched the earth unspoiled by modern machines. Today, I am pained to see my children wanting to play on a poisoned waterway while I wax nostalgic and nearly allow the request.
Mark Antony Rossi’s poetry, criticism, fiction, creative nonfiction, and photography have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Anak Sastra, Bareback Magazine, Black Heart Review, Brain of Forgetting, Deep Water Literary Journal, Dirty Chai, Enclave, Expound, Farther Stars Than, Flash Fiction, Gravel, Indian Periodical, Japanophile, Journal of Microliterature, Kulchur Creative Journal, Mad Swirl, On The Rusk, Purple Patch, Scrivener Creative Review, Sentiment Literary Journal, Snapdragon, Syzygy Poetry Journal, The Sacrificial, Toad Suck Review, Transnational, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Wild Quarterly and Yellow Chair Review.