This Ancient City

by Mark Antony Rossi

I found
a child
whose mother
had drowned
pushing her daughter
up a musty attic
in an ancient French city
under water
under attack
under the protection of God.

But where do you pray
when temples wash away
when the street is a cemetery
when the birdsong is a memory
of what used to be
a life of Cajun comfort.

You pray on your feet
and call back the creatures of the air
like a Noah in reverse
to remind them land will resurrect
from a watery grave
and make its mark again
on the dreamer
on the diviner
on the daylight reborn.

Mark Antony Rossi’s poetry, criticism, fiction and photography have appeared in The Antigonish Review, Another Chicago Review Bareback Magazine, Black Heart Review, Collages & Bricolages, Death Throes, Deep South Journal, Ethical Specacle, Deep South Journal, Flash Fiction, The Magill Review, Japanophile, On The Rusk, Purple Patch, Sentiment Literary Journal, The Sacrificial and Wild Quarterly. His most recent play “Eye of the Needle” was produced by Grin Theatre, Liverpool, England and its YouTube recording is available at