The ghosts of American soldiers
wander the streets of Balad by night,
unsure of their way home, exhausted,
the desert wind blowing trash
down the narrow alleys as a voice
sounds from the minaret, a soulful call
reminding them how alone they are,
how lost. And the Iraqi dead,
they watch in silence from rooftops
as date palms line the shore in silhouette,
leaning toward Mecca when the dawn wind blows.
- From Here, Bullet, a collection of poems written by Brian Turner, who served for seven years in the U.S. Army. Beginning in November 2003, he was an infantry team leader in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.