During 'Operation Dawn' in Fallujah

Orange blossoms fell
on bullet splinters fallen
in Abbud’s garden. He cradled
his son’s head with one hand,
and the other pressed
the blood-soaked bandage
wrapped around his son’s belly.
Bent under the night, a few stars
measured the minutes. During
his pre-dawn prayers for Ramadan
he listened for ambulance sirens
or a break in the sputter
of whistling shells, a small door
through which he could slip
and carry his son to the clinic.
Fighters’ feet drummed the rooftop.
The marines’ death metal music
played the song of American gods.
A dull film swam over
the boy’s eyes as he sipped
water from his father’s cup,
and above them, swarming,
a halo of flies.

Jensea Storie is the recipient of the first place poetry award at California State University, Pomona’s 2004 Creative Writing Conference. She is the poetry editor of Perigee, an online publication for the arts featuring verse, prose, and visual art. Her poems have been published in The Pomona Valley Review and Sunshine Noir.