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The New Trees

Ben Black teaches at San Francisco State University, where he also completed my MFA. His work has been published in The Southampton Review, New American Writing, Quaterly West, Harpur Palate, and The Los Angeles Review. His stories have been finalists for the Calvino Prize, the Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Chapbook Contest, and the Fairy Tale Review Award in Prose.
The new trees aren't so different. Yes, they drop their leaves all at once instead of one at a time. Yes, the leaf piles quickly turn into quivering gelatinous blobs. Yes, these blobs have some rudimentary sentience. But they are still lovely to walk beneath, like the old trees. The sun still peeks between their leaves. Lovers still hide under them during sudden downpours. Their leaves still shiver and softly squeak if you lean against their trunks. And at least these trees remain unspoiled: you'd never carve your name in one. Not if you know what's good for you.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, June 7th, 2018

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