Recurring

It happened again last night,
or rather early this morning.

You never ask yourself rational
questions while you’re dreaming.
Everything makes sense
and is acceptable.

The sewing pins on my desk
must have triggered it.
Innocently they lay there
in a little pick-up sticks pile.

Tiny metal bodies with their
cheerfully colored plastic heads.
Imprinted on my subconscious
mind somehow.

At 3:00am, I become aware
that there is a pin in my mouth.
Now, a rational person would have
removed it immediately.

Instead I lay there half asleep
doing nothing about this small hazard.
I must be careful not to swallow it.
This thought seems to force the inevitable.

Oh god, I think, panicking, there’s a
pin inside me.

I picture holes being torn. Painfully.
A sewing implement protruding from me,
appearing on x-rays to the consternation
of hospital staff.

Bolt upright and wide awake, I stumble
to the bathroom to try and choke it up,
not yet realizing that I’ve been dreaming,
and that it’s happened countless times.

Always a different object, though:
an earring, necklace, small stone, a contact lens.
Eventually the nightmare leaves my head.
It sits in the corner laughing at me.

I got you again, it mocks.
And you know I’ll be back. I will.