Rachel Howard in Arroyo Literary Review

A new piece of non-fiction by alumna Rachel Howard (fiction, ’09) appears online in Arroyo Literary Review:

Frank Black


DIRT CROSSROADS IN the orchard. Green Datsun station
wagon. Plum trees in bloom, but the blossoms are hidden
because Scott has cut the headlights. The windows are down
and the hatchback up to let in the treble-buzz of unseen insects,
no hope of breeze but the heat feels like permission. The smell
of manure drifts to us from the dairy down the road, dust in
our nostrils and in our eyes and on our tongues—always in
the Central Valley, dust. The back of the station wagon is
prepared with blankets.

Eight rows of flowering plum trees between me and the back
fence, but the house might as well be the moon. I can see my
mother’s bedroom light shining from the second story. She is in
bed alone, I know, since she worked too damn hard on kicking
out her second husband to let another man under our roof.

Sometimes I try to imagine that my father can still see me.

Scott nudges a mix-tape into the deck.

Read more online.