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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 3: May 2020
Haibun Story: 202 words
By Jonathan Humphrey

Recurring Arches
(Duo for Vibraphone and Bare Feet)


My god, the rainbow has ugly feet. I discovered this not three weeks ago in a cluster of sycamores. While all the ninnies and half-wits were gasping and panting and lusting over her arched body, I was running into her big toe, broad as a Cadillac, hidden under damp leaves. The other digits shifted and were quickly spotted. The second, though timid, was covered in the boldest of orange slime molds. Number three had a bit more gall, and flipped me off while sunbathing in a stray shaft of light. Having made eyes at a groundhog, the ring toe was rooting in the soil, searching for past loves. And the little guy, the little piggy, after losing its nail, was trying on pieces of limestone, one after the other, like a series of Derby hats. Oddly enough, the small toe spoke English, so we got to talking about the weather, about socks, about sin. He warned me of his cousins in hell. Red rainbows that carve through the blood rain. High scarlet bridges that crooked men dream of climbing. Straighten yourself, he said, and faded away.

old rainbow
the shape of a vulture

Jonathan Humphrey’s
Issue 3, May 2020

work has recently appeared in Acorn, Contemporary Haibun, Frogpond, The Heron’s Nest, MacQueen’s Quinterly and Modern Haiku. He is the author of a collection of haiku and haibun, How to Disassemble Your Father’s Ghost (Kattywompus Press, 2017), and his haibun story of the same name is anthologized in The Best Small Fictions 2015. With a fondness for whiskey and whippoorwills, he divides his time between the lights of Nashville and the woods of his native Kentucky.

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