Split skin

The smack-snap-pop of my lips
connecting to cement
followed by copper-penny viscous fluid.
and I’m whiplashed to the playground
monkey bars smack-ping
of teeth on metal rusty flecks
tantalizing tastebuds
and I’m time traveling
through memory as part of me
feels the fresh ooze of split lip
disoriented at the bottom
of the swimming pool
not quite sure which way is up
to break the surface of chlorine
tinted water.
Just like on the graveled playground
I only knew which way was up
because monkey bar metal
spun above me.

I didn’t know which way
was up when I tasted copper
after blood rushed to ears
because fist met face
and I tasted blood on my knuckles
where they split
connected with bones in his nose
that were so much softer
so much more pliable
than the cement that split my lip
as I slinked along the bottom of the pool

staying under clear chemical waves
to drown out the noise
of cracking bones.

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