from What I Told the Ceiling, by Kelli Russell Agodon:
She loses eye contact
when I ask her what she's found.
I want to pluck the fruit
from my body.

Story: Familiarity, by Jessica Nicole


from in a time of snow, by Arlene Ang:
that is kiss
you say

something I can
never learn

from mirrors
or with my own hands

Story: Tutoring, by fairady


from untitled by Greg Beatty:
When little green men
visit, remember: say they
are weather balloons.

Story: The Chase, by Frulie


from Dark Land of Desire, by Sheila Black:
Some days- fall when a cool wind
rattled the sycamores and paper cups whirled along
swooping concrete curbs, I built us a dream house
of nearly naked rooms and windows
streaked blue with summer rain.

Story: Almost Home, by Mer


from You Talk to Me About Italy by Kristy Bowen:
You speak to me low and fondly,
like a cat from the Coliseum
that followed you back
to your hotel in the rain.

Story: Signs and Wonders, by s.a.


from Berryman Tea, by Kathleen Byrne:
You think about swallowing but
love the way he dances on
your tongue. You want to be
the song he's lost in- so

You start to sing-
Story: Knightly Observance, by Moonbeam


from Woven, by Susan H. Case:
seduction is a hidden seam in an open book
you are not a stream of awareness
you are not an open book

Story: Change Into, by Sleeps With Coyotes [story removed @ author's request on 3 November 2011]


from Last Night, by Dee Cohen:
the floor tiles buckle
and tilt
and you grab for the counter
like someone on a small ship
in a big ocean.

Story: Five Kinds of Earthquake, by ascian


from The Curator, by Jack Conway:
She is the curator
in the museum
of her own endless disappointments.
After a lifetime,
she has quite a collection.

Story: Darker With the Day, by Zillah


from What You Want, by Rebecca Cook:
Let's say I'm omnipotent-
not like god,
or your mother,
but like a dream
that convinces you that you're falling.

Story: Think of Me, by Babs Bunny


from Pompeii, by Mark Cox:
one moment we're on our way to work,
the next we're work for someone else;
one moment we're making love, the next
we've become what someone else loves to do

Story: The Secret of Flight, by Jess


from O Hollywood, by Matthew Dickman:
The celluloid of our silent
film burns up and all around

the world is just
                the body
seven days before it is found.

Story: Floating in the floating city, by Zara Hemla


from The Imaginary Tiger, by Arianna R. Georgi:
I do not know if
it will kill us, it
might, but
for now it
just sits here

Story: Closets and Close Secrets, by C. Zdroj


from Big Idea, by Pamela Greenberg:
Self-sufficiency, I now say, is for giants.
Me, I need a mouth to greet mine after chores,
a stranger's words to bring me wonder,
a name to call my name urgent in the dark.
Story: I once had a farm in Africa, by wulle


from Sacred Whore, by Bradley Mason Hamlin:
our heart won't ward off
the devil's handshake
unless you let go of his hand
so give me 5 minutes
to change the world

Story: Five Minutes, by Gwynnega


from Escape (Cliffhanger) by Joshua Harmon:
Because the pill bottle was already empty (if chalked with chemical)
Because I spent all afternoon reading the personals
Because Rhode Island smelled damply (because my house smelled damply)
Because I attempted to resist the sky with tinfoil and string (an old family recipe)

Story: An Old Family Recipe, by Grainne


from Hafizullah Amin, by Raza Ali Hasan:
Why would you have left
the gyrating knife in the wound? And
when is it a good time for a revolution?

Story: Tremor, by Qzeebrella


from Cow Ruminating - Ditto Donkey, by Nathan Hoks:
He wants to turn the music off
but the dial crumbles in his hand.
The rain comes down heavy
but he hardly hears a thing.

Story: A Bruised Road, by k


from An exile commutes on 5371, by Deirdre Johnston:
Beyond wingtip, dragonfly contrails streak
the reddening dusk.
I'm in the air again,
still going the wrong way home.

Story: Wrong Way Home, by Matthew


from March Air, by Devin Johnston:
I take a card
and recompose
myself from what
we call "the world."

Story: And the Busy World Is Hushed, by Oro


from Abalone Moon, by C. E. Laine:
a stone-couched

of each time your
breath found

the hollow in my

Story: Refractions, by Shatterpath


from Not the Apocrypha, by Joanne Lehman:
They didn't want us to imagine
the curve of a thigh, breasts
heavy as coconuts, the navel
a goblet from which lovers drank
in biblical vineyards at midnight.

Story: Fate Is a Curve, by Ki Finn


from Berths, by Edward Locke:
Good health enjoys being in my body
And on Sunday mental stability swills vodka in my head.
All virtues of Stoicism sugarplum in my hands!
I would live forever if somebody else didn't need the space.

Story: No Such Boy, by glossolalia


from Workroom, by M. F. McAuliffe:
The souls have all gone somewhere else,
a parallel place

where blades don't come from the ceiling
and harvest the things in the chairs

Story: The Things In the Chairs, by Lizo


from Wasting a Day, by Paul D. McGlynn:
Today you cleared your throat a hundred times.
Agreed with twenty cliches. Made toast.
You looked at your watch five times an hour.
You are that fool. And now it's night.

Story: And now it's night, by Cheapmetaphor


from Commerce by Richard Newman:
red-lipsticked invitation on her face
as she passes - her teeth so precise,

she has to be expensive - and I hate her
the way I hated the call last night at dinner

Story: Snapshots from the city: The expensive red-lipsticked whore: Hatred and disgust in foreign lands. Love ain't nothing but a venereal disease., by Simon Field


from After I Die, by Nancy Pagh:
I don't want to fall in the first wind.
There are laws against this sort of thing
so choose a place far enough out
that you can't find it again.
Story: Flowers For Your Table, Daisies, Wild Blue, by Genee Li


from Zeno's Paradox, or My Mother's Forsythia, by Joyce Peseroff:
Kiss the sweet that drips from open cells--
apple, almond, peach-perfumed, whatever

blossoming orchard gorged the dozing hive--
half a moment, and I'll be satisfied.
Story: A Gentle Invitation, by Amatia


from Coma, by Jon Pineda:
What if I told you
Each time you whispered
My name it felt like a door
I could place a hand against,
Feel how warm it was

Story: Nomenclature, by kbk


from Charlie Brown In the Dead of Night, by Melanie Jordan Rack:
It's definitely a tick when I see you, your dress smoothed
over invisible knees, tick the way I feel you know me.
I've danced with girls before, swaying lightly back
and forth, just on the edge of what it means
to fill my body, of being poured in like wet cement.

Story: Letting Go and Moving On, by A. Magiluna Stormwriter


from Sonnet For Elizabeth by Jorge Sanchez:
See, it's not that you're alone, and a long
way off: it's that I'm surrounded in a house
on a hill, and I've lost the sound of the only word
that fits. Days the sun hangs, an obnoxious gong,
but nights the pasture air fills with fireflies,
the sky singing that you're the name of the world.

Story: Hammer and Tongs, by Halrloprillalar


from Stillness by Stephen Sandy:
The Chablis waited while she gave
the boy his lesson in the leafy shade,
pergola where honeysuckle trailed.

Story: Kinks, by Merrin


from To Utopia, by Samn Stockwell:
A couple reaches across
the years that divide them, their hands forming a bridge
for tired immigrants and abandoned children.
No one finds it a tribulation to a human.

Story: All Is Right, by Cait N.


from To Be Nothing, And Feel the Wind, by John Thomas:
To be nothing, and feel the wind
of the big trucks passing.
Debris: even the word
is beautiful.

Story: riffraff, by jacito


from For Trakl, by Rosanna Warren:
Plocks of rain smite the sidewalk.
Evening tightens its hood, lowers its eyes.
The girl enters, shakes a shower
from heavy hair, turns, and passes

Story: The Ultimate Acceptance/I Love You Goodbye, by Katie Murphy


from Absolute Zero, by Ellen Wehle:
Zen concept of relation: energy transferred through the collision of individuals.

Of course I kept on walking.

We are given this weapon of ourselves: our napes, the small of our backs. Yesss rising from my solar plexus.
Story: Worth It, by rg kinski


from 5 A.M., by Teresa White:
I start coffee, wait for the good gurgling,
put on my quiet shoes.
The small red clock of my heart is slow,
won't keep time, needs batteries
or your arms around my languishing equator.
Story: So Lost Without You, by Buddy


from On the Road to Hana, by Jim Willis:
I am terrified that I'll walk alone
Among the tombstones and golden lilies,
Fall asleep beneath the rattling
Screw pines, and dream of no one.
Story: The World Didn't End, by Mehitabel


from Sudden Music, by Samuel Willoughby:
Lie down and give in to winter.
Because if memory is anything it is dirty banks of snow
or rancid ice bleeding into water.

So lie down, go gently, open your fists,
let small butterflies rise from your palms
and dissipate into spring.
Story: Memory: An Internal Monologue, by Faechick


from Super 8 Cowboys, by Lisa Wood:
They weren't wearing hats,
but they were real,
and I took three pictures
of them anyway.
Story: The Winter to Pass, by Kyra Cullinan


from Sadness, by Theodore Worozbyt:
Sadness, the chummy doctor, injects
serum after serum into sunset,
but the water wakes up as
blue and enticing as ever.
Story: Love Is a Many Splintered Thing, by Weredonut


from Escape Velocity, by Andy Young:
Pull poison from blood.
Flush tubes with water.

Teach bony protrusions to be wings.
Story: Blood, Tears and Wings of Bone, by Tori Morris


from When We Are Happy by Natalia Zaretsky:
Happiness does not sound
like a siren, or a car's skid,
or a mosquito's buzz,
but is the quiet squeak of an open door
with him against the moonlight
Story: Skuka, Holod i Granit, by not jenny



The Free Verse Challenge Archive is a coproduction of homoneurotica and ShatterStorm Productions.