Self Portrait with Imaginary Brother

 
after a painting by William De Kooning
 
After I’m done
    raking the giant
hands of maple leaves
 
and the tools
    have been returned
to the shed, I call my brother
 
to see if he got the job,
    if his cancer
is back, if his greenhouse
 
blew over in the wind.
    This is the soup
of our lives, he
 
is an invisible breath
    and I am the one asking
questions. After I’ve had
 
enough of the women
    who chatter
sour cream and onion
 
gossip while waiting
    to pick up their kids,
I call my brother
 
to ask him if I have
    too many friends
made of paper, if I should
 
drink more wine, adjust
    my rose-colored glasses
to an even brighter shade.
 
My brother, quiet,
    let’s me decide
for myself,
 
his response is always
    the wind, his voice
touching every leaf.