I had already been in the air for fourteen hours
the day we met. Fourteen hours and six meals
and three bags of miniature wheat pretzels
that tasted like Pennsylvania Dutch hand-crafted
cardboard and someone's salty fingertips.
Six meals and three bags of pretzels and four
still waters because once I saw a story
about how drinking wine on the plane
can dehydrate you and soda in any form
can make your stomach explode. You brought lilies
with stems longer than your whole upper body
that covered your face and bark-brown eyes.
Through the Danube and into your arms, fourteen
hours from Ohio and the gas station
where I left my sunglasses before buying two packs
of gum so my ears wouldn't explode at 35,000 feet.
You held me and I felt another world in your arms,
coming home again after four generations.
The Roman stonemasons and mad mathematicians,
the Turks and Germans storming the Bastian,
the peasant revolts, the banned playwrights
and revolutionaries, churchgoers and landowners,
the metals miners, student bakers, the women
who hid the vines in the monastic cellars away
from the Russians or the bombs or the taxmen.
You wrapped yourself overmy ancient Hungarian,
modern America skeleton. Fourteen hours
in the air across the ocean and mountains
and there the cool waters of Duna and the bygone.
By Jessica Jewell
Jessica Jewell reads "ANCIENT HUNGARIAN"
Jessica Jewell is the program coordinator for the Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Nimrod, Cider Press Review, the American Poetry Journal, Harpur Palate, Copper Nickel, Rhino, Barn Owl Review and Poetry Midwest, among others. Her chapbook, Slap Leather, was published by dancing girl press in 2011.
Work for Monthly Verse is selected through our editorial process. New poems are selected from authors that submitted work for the last issue. Read more authors by subscribing to Fjords.