Mark Antony Rossi

Posted on August 14, 2017


Editor’s Pick

Loyalty Left Me Lonely

All my life I held Loyalty as the highest standard. I held it higher than Honesty. Any fool can tell the Truth, it takes a man to be Loyal. I believed in Blind Loyalty. Italian Loyalty. Back your boy till the end of time. Be a stand-up kind of guy.

Then a school official loyal to his principal voted against my son and he nearly got left back in school. I knew what was going on. If he didn’t back her up she wouldn’t help him get the principal vacancy in another school. The business of the matter was no different than how I lived and preached.

But it was fucking painful. I knew the decision was more political than educational. I won on appeal. But I had to hold back being a hypocrite. I had to hold back my fury of smashing this geek’s face through his office window. It felt like the Code I followed my entire life just betrayed me in my hour of need.

I fought against it inside of me for months. I didn’t want the experience to change me. I went to the gym and hit the punching bag 6,000 times; each time seeing that prick’s face and breaking his nose. Sometimes I broke his ribs too just for general entertainment.

Maybe I’m just living the romantic notions of my father whom believed in Loyalty and Honor. But he never mentioned a dark side to it. He never mentioned it could boomerang in my face. I thought it would protect me. Yeah, I thought it made me better than most men whom had no code.

I owe my father better and took responsibility. I can’t believe in the same things of my youth if they negatively effect the youth I am now trying to raise right. My son saw me at the gym and I think he sensed my pain. I made sure he knew none of this was his fault. Sometimes Daddy wants to kill someone for making him see a part of himself that needed improvement.


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. He is the Editor in Chief, Ariel Chart