by Jared Pearce At home after the last doctor's visit we eat dinner in small leaps; careful with everything as if we were stacking china after an earthquake. Toes down, it scratches on folds and ruffles without a hold, without friction; the arms faithless to swim in the black vertigo—no somersaults for aerodynamics but birth as the foot slips—the innocent child pulled down into light. After dinner, I look through my biology textbook. There's a picture of an autumnal tree in transparent earth, and I can’t make out the branches from the roots. It makes me think of how a tree grows through black earth with water—the seed always knows the way to light; is always conscious of its correct ways. The trunk groans against clods and stones, and stands huge—its green arms tangle in the wind—always strong, poking at the sun. And the roots, woven into soil, are only ripped by machines and the contraction of plate tectonics.