Tree Runs the Numbers
Tree is logical. She likes to figure. She has time. If she gets stumped, she tells herself, "Tree, do the math. Run the numbers. Balance the damn equation." Still, sometimes she feels a panic—a growing knot. Is one place for eternity really the way? Is she, Tree wonders, bound? She concludes that her possibilities are linear: Trunk, branches, leaves. The systems are set. "And yet," Tree thinks, "I am a far-reaching, intricate pattern—the real action hidden down deep. I feel what's at work: Black, mud-slick roots, crisscrossing darkness, fingering the water table, forever pushing deeper, farther, unseen. Unsolvable."
Jason M. Marak is a writer and artist living behind the redwood curtain in Northern California. His writing has appeared in a number of print and online journals including The Paris Review, Raritan, and 100-word story. To see more of his writing and visual art visit him on Instagram (@jasonmmarak) or at smokeandotherindications.blogspot.com.
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