by Zachary Lunn

       Salah ad-Din Province, Iraq

When the bird touches down
its rotors cloud the air with dust,
red cross marking its side like a headstone.
The flight medic steps out,
stoops low, starts towards us.
I watch her and remember the names
of every mangled man she’s lifted away.
Strands of brown hair peek under
her flight helmet, small shoulders 
push against the seams of her jumpsuit. 
I want to say, take me home
Her shampoo smells like the 
pinyon leaves in Texas.
This poem previously appeared in the June 2017 issue of Pedestal Magazine.