It’s a ghost but, like Casper, not scary,
not the kind that makes strange noises
in the night or seeks revenge on its murderers.
This ghost was not only holy, but one
of the Big Three: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
I think of the deceased Black Panther,
Eldridge Cleaver, inventor of Jesus jeans,
who compared the Holy Trinity
to three in one oil, but I digress.
What did it look like, this holy ghost?
Because it was a ghost, it didn’t have
a bodily incarnation. No images abound
except for the famous tongues of fire
that appeared over the heads of the apostles
during the first Pentecost. Tongues of fire—
fitting for a ghost to take the form that is no form,
the protean blaze that made Heraclitus think that
the only sure thing was change. Again, I digress.
When the nuns told us about the tongues of fire
descending upon the heads of the apostles I,
of course, thought of the Sterno my mother
sold at her restaurant supply business: little
cans of napalm to light on fire and place
under stainless steel serving trays to keep
food warm on a buffet or to cook with during
a power outage. To me, this gift of celestial
flame insured that an apostle would never go
without a warm meal unless he needed to grab
something quick and cold, like a Hillel sandwich,
on the way to his martyrdom. Yet again, I digress.