Love. A Story

Cassandra Whitaker

An oak tree inosculated with a pine, they
became fearless; they began to chorus
through rings, where the trees touched,
a smooth knuckle of love. The pine bends,
braced by its partner; when ice shatters
warming winter, the oak shags the weather,
the wind’s bother, the pine sheds its shatters,
feeds oak saplings, shelters the children.

The mind of soft earth minding the forest
minding the meadow minding
the town that does not mind the forest
or the meadow or the fungus
or the oak that fell in love with a pine
singing so close; so close the forest.

Cassandra Whitaker (they/them) is a trans writer from Virginia whose work has been published in Michigan Quarterly Review, RogueAgent, The Mississippi Review, Foglifter, Bennington Review, Conjunctions, Evergreen Review, and other places. They are a member of the National Book Critics Circle and an educator.

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