Up Up and Away

My brother and I quickly added up
what he’ll need to retire. He was calling from work,
on a break and worrying how expensive it is
to get to the finish line, let alone die.
He wouldn’t want me to tell you the figure,
but we’re friends and you never say much
anyway, so here it is—a shit ton. There’s
the British shit ton, or shite tonne. The scheisse tonne
and the merda tonelada. Linguists will tell you
to pass the scungilli and that the shit ton exists
in every language. So. What we concluded is
my brother needs a raise, or to start robbing banks
or people who rob banks or stagecoaches,
being traditionalists. I tried to cheer my brother up
by reminding him all clowns die too, some
in gruesome tuxedos, others in bed
reading Clown Monthly, A Journal of Smiles. He laughed,
but under the laugh I could hear a rock crusher
going to work. It says a lot that in this life,
even rocks get beat up. This is when I want the marines
to parachute in and save the day or at least
two o’clock. But do I get my way? No. Do you? Hell no.

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