I was reminded of it when I heard
a story about the first ever screening of a motion picture.
People ran out of the room, afraid
that the oncoming train would hit them.
It wasn’t too different
from when I sat in the big gray Chevy van
outside of a warehouse and waited as they loaded supplies
for my parents’ pizzeria.
My father and my uncle sat in the front seat,
laughing when I asked if I could go into Chicago with them.
They told me I was already in Chicago,
not understanding that I wanted to go
in, through the red double doors at the loading dock,
where Mexicans smiled as they lifted heavy boxes, and told me I was loco,
to the office where Dad would pay, which had a calendar on the wall
with beautiful women who wore only bikini bottoms.
A year or two later, at six or eight years old,
I sat through midnight Mass with Mom, brothers, sisters.
We got more presents than usual that year, because
our names were on the Angel tree, in the lobby
of the church we went to every Sunday.
Midnight Mass was held in a bigger town, just a short drive away;
the priest had a full head of white hair and a beard,
like Santa Claus, or God.
I liked to sneak peeks at our other Bible, which had
a fascinating picture: a pointy-eared brown Satan tempted
young Jesus, who wore a full brown beard.
I knew God and Jesus were the same, so I thought the only difference
between the white beard and the brown was a few years.
We sat in the back for that midnight Mass, and I couldn’t see too well.
I had to ask Mom:
When is Jesus going to come out?