“Stung By Misunderstandings” by Juliet Cook by Martin Willitts Jr.

He took a socket wrench to her heart, 

released some valves, steam hissing a fit,

changed her carburetor, removed

the split gasket. She let him under her hood, 

but did not expect a modified engine with 

humongous exhaust pipes. 


The sudden shifts from overheated to air conditioned

nauseated her until she couldn’t read

into anything. Her insides were being replaced

even though she had never asked for anyone else

to repair her, as if trying to enter her into a model

car contest based on his style rather than hers.


She had a better idea —

actual shark fins on the back; pulleys, gears,

ropes attached to a blimp; root beer for the tank,

but a flask of Old Grandad for the driver;

a muffler that blew soap bubbles;

a flame thrower for a horn.


The doctor asked,

“are you two having a baby or a DeSoto,

or side-talking about whoopee-cushion kisses,

or planning on taking over the universe?”

He said it was none of the doctor’s business,

because he was the driver.


She hid a mass amount of Fire Ants inside the driver’s seat.

She had been collecting them for years, feeding them tidbits

of all the food he complained about.

She had installed an escape hatch inside the passenger’s seat.

The next time he tried to change her outfit, he would be stung

multiple times and she would be gone. He could scream at the ants. 

He could marry an ant and stomp it into the floor as soon as it bit him.



Juliet Cook is brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions. She is drawn to poetry, abstract visual art, and other forms of expression. Her poetry has appeared in a peculiar multitude of literary publications. You can find out more at www.JulietCook.weebly.com.

Martin Willitts Jr. lives in Syracuse, New York. He has won numerous awards and prizes for poetry. He has won grants to place bi-lingual poetry inside of buses from Adult English as a Second Language Students. He has 26 chapbooks including two national contest winners, and 20 full-length collections including two national contest winners. He is an editor for The Comstock Review, and a judge for the New York State Fair Poetry Contest.

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