The Anacostia River is a filthy, liquid wall separating the politicos from their hardscrabble, mostly invisible constituents in Washington, D.C. And like everything else in the capitol, the garbage-clogged tributary flows through the lies and empty promises of the city’s dons. D.C. is on its way up. Crime is on its way down. The river will be baptism-water clean. But it takes a group of inner-city youths to cut the paths, sift through the garbage, and actually follow up on the promises. Holly Jones, in an article for McSweeney’s, tells the story of three of these kids as they work on the Anacostia and deal with the demons of growing up on the streets of D.C.