Dr. Honeydew, I wanna be like you,
so carefree, so zen, so blithely unaware
of danger, unscathed by Murphy’s Law,
protected by a bubble of ignorant bliss
as the ceiling caves in amidst your erratic
science, peace exuding past each pore,
your pulse steady despite explosions
and chemicals bubbling over at Muppet Labs.
He’s so calm and cool cause he lacks eyes.
The glasses just for show, jeer balcony hecklers
Statler and Waldorf. Not true, I say. Not true!
Dr. Honeydew, I wanna be like you. Instead,
I’m skittish Beaker terrified of unexpected flashes
of light, shrieking whenever someone cuts me
off in traffic, afraid of being ambushed by pungent
perfume in the elevator, frazzled by unexpected sounds—
the cry of an ambulance siren, the sudden pop
of a balloon or potato chip bag—all potential catalysts
for an apocalyptic migraine because mother nature
has cursed me with auditory acuity, with superior
olfactory receptors. Beaker, I feel you. I know
how it is to be wound a bit tight, genetic destiny
molding one into a Nervous Nelly. I know
what it’s like to be sabotaged by miscellaneous gadgetry.
In my universe substitute test tubes and Bunsen burners
for the cacophony spewed from blenders and vacuums,
plus the snore escaping from a sleeping spouse,
how it pierces the evening silence, how the mattress quakes
initiating the launch sequence for a paroxysm of fear.
Rita Maria Martinez loves all things Jane Eyre. Her poetry collection—The Jane and Bertha in Me (Kelsay Books)—is inspired by Charlotte Brontë's classic novel. Martinez's work appears in publications like The Notre Dame Review, Ploughshares, and The Best American Poetry Blog. Her poetry also appears in the textbook Three Genres: The Writing of Fiction/Literary Nonfiction, Poetry and Drama and in the anthology Caña Quemada: Contemporary Cuban Poetry in English and Spanish. Martinez's recent poetry raises awareness about the challenges and triumphs inherent in navigating life with chronic daily headache (CDH) and migraine. Visit her website at www.comeonhome.org/ritamartinez or follow her on Twitter @cubanbronteite.