Alaska Magazine’s special issue in creative writing includes my essay about heat, illness, the color red, and black spruce. The essay responds to a painting by Juneau artist Constance Baltuck.
To understand the black spruce, remember it grows from a fist-sized root ball as grey and compact and crucial as a brain. Each black spruce spindles itself straight up into the crack of the cold, stout branches making a skyward scrub from base to apex all winter night. And below that brain of roots lies permafrost, even in summer. This, then, is a tree that keeps ice in mind. Full essay here.