Mojave River Review fall/winter 2018

Page 37

Dave Petraglia Thin Christ THE SOFT FLYING DISC SLAPPED DOWN over Father Joseph’s head. For a moment, the Lord was calling. Then darkness faded as room lights came up through the perfectly window-paned dough. He was alive yet. He poked a hole for his mouth, and laughing still, pinched holes for his eyes. In the mirror, he was...a cartoon…Casper! Father Joseph had thrown his first pizza dough to the heavens and but for his big, graying head getting in the way, almost caught it. He was witness to endless births, deaths, and redemptions. But that first, delicious moment the dough left his hands by some unseen spirit and energy, was just as miraculous and baffling as any of life’s mysteries. It was an ‘Immaculate Ejection’, he’d tell Father Martin: the dough spun off, up, and away from his knuckles in an instant, fluttering at the top of its trajectory in defiance of all earthly bounds, preordained. As a child, he haunted the pizzerias of Roosevelt Avenue. Legions of young war veterans in crisp white t-shirts showcased in storefront kitchens their hand-eye virtuosity, flying discs of dough and landing them like sweet, obedient doves. These were displays of virile competence, the creation of a celebratory Eucharist for the palate, and its benediction, all rolled into one. Like a Stromboli, if you’d prefer. 37

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