“(Swings) Last Call at the Enlisted Club”

by Lucas Shepherd

With the final F-16 tucked
into its hangar, Valitski and I
cleared the flightline of AGE

for the weekend. The moon waned
gibbous; I would not hesitate
to call the type of light upon

our bobtail truck a soft lunar
glow. It was midnight but Valitski
was determined to make last

call at the Enlisted Club. QA had long
gone home; furthermore, the control
tower stood empty, no eye

-in-the-sky making sure we use ECPs
or radio permission before crossing
runways. Visibility is a trap, I said,

explaining Foucault’s theory of fear-based
motivation, but Valitski had a few
words of his own to say about the matter.

He was younger but outranked
me—I enlisted in my 20s. I snapped
lunette eyes into pintle hooks like the A1C

I had become. We hauled floodlights
by the half dozen; they wobbled behind
our bobtail like a child’s toy, a string

of pull-along duckies. We raced bomb
lifts from corrosion to the ready
line. Our bomb lifts were neutered

of course, no ordnance in
their cradles; even so, I felt
the danger lance my side.