sweats through his shirt
so you come down on him verbally
as only brothers can.
"I wear deodorant, not antiperspirant.
That stuff gives you cancer."
After eight hours
you go home and read the label.
Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex
That middle word is fake
like farmed diamonds
and true love.
You decide not to tell anyone
if either fate comes to be.
A pain under your arm
sends you to the mirror.
You sterilize your nail clipper
with your latest black Bic
and chop off the fresh skin tag.
It takes two attempts.
There isn't as much blood
as you'd imagined
though you still have the wad of tissue ready.
You've learned to be prepared
from more than Boy Scouts.
After your shower
you remove some telephone numbers.
It hurts less than your bathroom surgery.
A trickle of red runs down your rib cage.
The mild soreness that flares up
after both amputations
is doused well by the pilsner
while the moon smirks triumphantly
despite its incompleteness.