My Prayers are Quiet Shouts to God

My prayers are quiet shouts to God
praying with the stamina of Jesus at Gesthemane
with blows of my own
all the inward places cannot contain
themselves anymore
crowded out by all the bullets
pulling out bullets
is comparable to plugging
them back up again
where old misery
wants to re- surface
once the piles
of metal vacate
the premises in
those old ghettos
where old memories
were tossed into
body bags alive
reminiscent of
old prisoners
in mythical dungeons
telling stories
“too bizarre”
to be believed
once they’ve escaped
tearing out
old ammunition
where the nerves
have already
require straighter
hearts than mine
to do surgery

My prayers are quiet shouts to God
I never accepted myself as real
but the sum of what men
thought I was worth
I was like a miner
under the earth
trying to climb
out of the granite
of self-recrimination
like the “others”
I am still trying
to squeeze
into this size 5
and squeezing
myself into it
my panic stricken
fingers submerge
to recover
in me that
is wrong
and I dive
into myself
like a submarine
diving into the
dragging things
to the surface
and I’m not
a woman
whose mouth
and lips
always have
I’m glad
no one
calls anymore

My prayers are quiet shouts to God
as I ride the bus every morning
despite those that blow
themselves up
who try to reach me
with charred chunks
of meat
and I’m on a schedule
running back and forth
and back again
to a bus that is blocks
from my house
while others turn
a key and pass me
on the road
when I started
walking fifteen minutes
before they even
got into those
electric carriages
not having the keys
to an ignition
keeps some of us
from ever getting past ourselves

My prayers are quiet shouts to God
and misfits like me
let them throw knives at us
that we pick up
to do what they want us to do
when they threw them
at us
I have to make excuses
for the blemishes on my
it was an accident
but the lines
are all going
the same way
all of them
were looking
for an exit
to leave me
they all look
like they
they all look
mentally ill
they don’t look
like they have
been turned
over and over
in a car
until they
that particular
they have been
for all time
and I carry them
around forever
making sure
they don’t bump
their heads
or try to kill
and I guard them
and I wasn’t perfect
letting so much
blood seep from me
someone always has
to go first
then others
until I have to
hide them
as relatives
that I am ashamed
and people have looked
at them to suggest
that I am mentally ill
and I will defend their
as I defend mine

My prayers are quiet shouts to God
I don’t know about those women
on t.v.
wearing burkas
over their heads
but we are
all shrouded
in some mystery
or other
I am waiting
for my daughter’s
child support
from a man
who decided
to spill himself
and go on running
and Emma has to tell
the story
of his departure
and she tells
the world
she is legitimate
and I admire
that about her
that she squawks
in defense
of welfare mothers
and children
born out of
minus fathers
and I know
I’m not perfect
for letting all
that happen
for not being prepared
I let myself fall so
far down that
mine shaft
I’m still stuck
down there
and every once
in a while
I remember
to breathe
the air
is choking
my lungs down
and excuse me
if I always look
like I’ve been
with that
big rock
that fell
on my chest
but we
are looking
for a way
out of here
my prayers are quiet shouts to God


My Prayers are Quiet Shouts to God

Matty B. Duran

Joined July 2009

  • Artist

Artist's Description

I wrote this when my daughter was in elementary school, and 9/11 had just happened. I have since re-structured the verses. This is also part of a much larger poem.

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