Cider House

by Larkin Flora & Ariel Haine

I gotta get my jollies
bring your umbrella, come
with me already
hand in hand we'll journey through
the mist, that sticky fog.
The blind corners, the stupid
road, the lights divine.
In this exhilarating haze,
you and I shall become
doubled over, folded
like a whispered note or a rubber check,
compacted in the pure ecstasy
of a stolen glance. This is the farce
of fun. What did they
tell you you'd feel? Are you full
to bursting from the joy
of real life? Is it like
the almost good love you've heard
about? Tell me how you
spell that moment, that bitter
sweet exchange of the almost.
Bring me the best you have.
Bring me your favorite shirt
and hang it wet in the window.
And I? I will give you my
hand as you climb back in toward
the unexplored, the far darker than—
I wanted you to be
content in our relevance,
freed by our "we're so here."
But my wants can't make you
You are, unadulteratedly, you.

Larkin Flora lives and writes for the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, Wyo. She received her BA in English from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore.

Ariel Haine is an artist and musician who lives in Portland, Ore. She studied at Lewis & Clark College and more of her work can be seen in The Puritan and Wilde Magazine.