Dreams often reflect human sufferings and worries that exist inside the sub-consciousness connecting the world of reality and imagination with an invisible red thread. In the poem My Cockroach Lover by Martin Espada, the author represents some personal emotions and feelings that emerge due to unexpected appearance of a giant roach that whispers about love during one of the sweetest dreams. However, in the poem Jump City by Harryette Mullen, the narrator describes the exploration of the world in a very narrow way revealing some minimalism and indirect meaning of the plot. There is also the roach, but it depicts the inner state of the mind irritating the narrator. Thus, both authors portray their own dreams through the appropriate metaphors, a sad tone, and a specific language demonstrating the perception of life between the world of boundless imagination and the reality.
Every summer dream obligatory reflects such a tender feeling as love even if it is not real. In the poem My Cockroach Lover by Martin Espada, the narrator seems to observe a usual dream that is full of the roaches, but this dream is precious to him. He presents his dream that happened only once becoming an integral part of his heart and soul. The words "Once night I dreamed/ a giant roach/ leaned over me" (Espada 16-18) show that the person watches his/ her dream with pleasure despite the main creature is merely a roach. In this case, the author uses the roach as a metaphor comparing it with a human. Moreover, this living creature symbolizes a lover that, perhaps, does not exist in the reality. It is evident that the roach plays a very important role in the dream, and the narrator admires it using a tender tone from the very beginning to the last word of the poem. Besides, the narrator describes the roach with an incredible adoration saying, "Brushing my face/ with kind antennae" (Espada 19-20) in order to hear the whisper of the most desirable words. The word "kind" (20) emphasizes that the author feels a great sympathy with the roach making the audience like this creature as well. On the other hand, the dream disappears and there is nothing more than solitude and loneliness. The author tries to share his feelings indicating "I awoke slapping myself/ and watched the darkness" (Espada 22-23).
The word of imagination flies away and the cruel reality begins to reign over the person. In such a way, darkness destroys not only the dream, but the last ray of hope to be loved by someone. Undoubtedly, it causes the feeling of disappointment and sadness. On the other hand, darkness helps the audience better imagine the invisible and intangible things founding the world of the reality and imaginary. The existence of the world is depicted through "the corner of the eye" in the poem Jump City by Harryette Mullen. Jump City refers to one of the metaphors of the poem demonstrating the world of the imagination and the reality in a different way. A modest tone and a brief language reflect a deep sense and indirect meaning of the plot. Harryette Mullen focuses on the inner state of the soul observing the world through "the corner of my eye…" (Mullen 4). In contrast to Martin Espada, Harryette Mullen mentioned such a living creature as the roach in a negative way saying, "I feel a little jumpy around you" (Mullen 1). It is obvious that this dream is not so romantic and sensitive as it was before.
The author is also the narrator of the poem, but she does not adore roaches as much as Espada does. Moreover, it seems that Mullen compares herself with a single roach using the word "like" (2). Nevertheless, the tone of the poem is not rude, but less tender having any rhythm as the poem My Cockroach Lover by Martin Espade. It enables the audience to plunge deeper into these dreams, because the plot is very precise and understandable.
In conclusion, Martin Espada and Harryette Mullen allowed the audience to penetrate into their private dreams paying attention to the indicated metaphors, a sad tone, and an incredible poetic language. Both authors showed the difference between the reality and the natural world referring to the existence of the roach that can be either precious or ugly for the narrators. In such a way, Espada depicts the roach as a possible love, but Mullen despises it observing through "the corner of the eye", being nervous and feeling irritation. However, the tone of both poems is sad, because love suddenly disappears and the presence becomes stable, though isolated and boring. Mullen realizes her poor existence based on poor life that does not bring anything new, but only numerous roaches. Undoubtedly, the audience regrets that the narrators live in the world of the cruel reality.