I have been whispering your name since I could form words in my mouth

My first prayers were led by parents over dinner tables

The right phrases whispered into my ear as I eyed the chicken nuggets on my plate

Not quite thinking about what I was saying


My first personal prayers to you were hesitant

Because I had been taught of how powerful you are

I was taught that you were my father

But my little mind never quite knew what the love of a father was supposed to be like

Because when my dad was in the same room as me

I stilled asked my mom, “Where’s daddy?”


My first passionate prayers felt too simple to me

Because I only knew what church taught me

Pleading for happy days and thanking you for my blessings

Asking for gifts of health and safety every morning and every night

Even though that was really all I had wanted


Prayer had been pushed into my life for so long that it had become routine

So my praises fell from free thought

And ended up at robotic repetitions

I’m sorry


After I had finally found my own mouth

My own tongue, my own words

My prayers became more like the poems I carved into paper

But church didn’t teach me how to speak

I learned how

When I thought freedom was pressed into me from the surface of a classroom desk

But later found out that the man who taught me about poetry

Didn’t hand me voice on a silver platter

He pulled it from where it was lodged in my throat


Please, explain something to me

Because for all these years since I finally learned how to speak to you

I feel like I have been asking a blank wall for happiness

I have been spilling out my heart and dripping out my trust

Towards a mute father who is too busy with his other children

To listen to a girl who really needs you


I have been told that you love all of your children

So why is it that I am so unfamiliar with you

Nearly scared of you

My trust has been ripped to shreds and stitched back together

To be shattered again by your children

Who claim to follow your teachings but have not been raised quite right


I have been told that you love me

But there are still people who tell me that I cannot be me

Because you don’t want me to

There are still people who tell me

That I cannot love those who are most like me

Because the same Testament that says shaving and eating pork are sins

Says that a woman kissing and loving anything but a man is a free ticket to Hell


I have been told that you love me

But my fucked up, beaten down, imbalanced, unstable brain

Still tells me that I can’t be loved

I still can’t sleep at night because my nerves are up the wall with fear

That people still remember the mistakes I’ve made and the words I’ve slipped

My heart still beats like a drunken husband

At the very thought of trying to trust people again


Where are you?

They tell me you work in mysterious ways

But I am no Sherlock Holmes

I can’t see you

I haven’t felt what people tell me is called your perfect love quite yet

I don’t know what salvation looks like

But I have walked through Hell bare-footed and open-hearted

So please, explain something to me


Tell me why I still feel I should trust you


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741