In the middle of a ghostly-white

moon-lit night, silhouettes of floating

clouds decorate my bedroom wall.

Someone begins banging on my front door.

Go away or Ill call the cops!

Let me in, Its your brother!

Get out of here, hes been dead for twenty years!

He keeps pushing at the door trying to get a foot in

like a Fuller Brush man who wont take no for an answer.

I havent died, listen to me, he pleads.

I faked my death and ran away to Argentina

to not get dumped in the Gowanus Canal

by Genoveses henchmen.

After standing shoulder to shoulder shoving at the door

I let him in and get crushed by an enveloping bear hug.

Buenos dias, mi hermano!

I see my brother, still young with his familiar facial tic,

crooked teeth and flaming red hair.

I had forgotten about his unashamed fatness

and snarly laugh, but I recognize his gold

horseshoe pinky ring glistening in the shafts

of moonlight streaming through the doorway.

What the hell do you want from me now?

Are you still sleeping in your car?

Just for now, he says. You always warned me

gamblers always lose. I should have listened to you.

Ever the joker, he quips: Being dead aint so bad while youre still alive.

Embracing him, I awaken clinging to my pillow as he vanishes once again.

Milton P. Ehrlich