I Pray

I’ve been praying for you,
not like
the erratic inquiries
from ill prepared students
that float to AC ducts,
brewing inside of classrooms
preceding a
POP quiz,
rising like bargaining chips
wrapped in,
“Our Father,
which art in heaven,
I promise
to pass by the church
if you deliver me
from the valley
of these questions”
kind of prayers.

No, more like:
I can’t.
I won’t let you go
lest you bless me
with your presence
kind of prayers;
because until now
I’ve never been fixated
on the internal revenue
of a soul.
I figured,
everyone had a price
but you couldn’t be sold
by a “dashing smile,
a chiseled chest,
an obese wallet.”
I was drawn
to your independent dependence
on your Source of strength.

I’ve prayed
not to make you perfect
for me,
but to make me sufficient
in being your needs
and efficient
to satiate your desires.
I want to be converted
to your wishlist,
ever changing
through the decades
though it may be,
so I’ll always check off
on your requirements,
no matter which lifetime
we find ourselves in.

I prayed,
for the wisdom
to listen
to your fears,
your insecurities,
your worries;
then prayed for the knowledge
of how to prepare my hands
to fix what they can,
and bridge over the impossibilities
with You.

I prayed,
for the courage
to stand up for you
when you can’t;
the spine
to stand beside you
as my equal;
but more importantly
to bend my knees
to lift you up
when I’ve done all I can;
to know the difference
between failure
and surrender,
and may I never
be composed of the former.

They told me:
“Don’t touch,
what you can’t buy.”
So when I ask for your hand
you’ll already know my intentions.
I’m thinking long-term,
something akin
to eternity.

I’m hoping
you’ll say yes.
I’m praying
that our future
is synonymous
to His will
but if not,
may I be granted grace
to love
and honor you from afar,
and to not wish ill will
upon your lover.

May he love you
deep into your marrow.
May he kiss you
as if atonement
was only found
on the altar of your lips.
May he hold you
as his lifeline,
as if letting go
was a fate far worse
than damnation.

May he cherish
the bad inside jokes you keep,
for his smile.

May he adore
the doors you’ve closed
to the attention
of other men,
to solely crave
his affection.

May he inspire you
to whisper with God
before exchanging
shouts with the world.

May he know
that you could’ve had better,

Yet she chose you
in the solitude
of her closet,
on the road home
with dense
and drenched traffic,
in prayer meetings,
in study halls,
in church pews
and bathroom stalls.

She chose you,
with origami fingers folded,
upon calloused knees
as mine were for her but,
she chose you
to be an answer
to her prayers,
for a love
you probably bargained
with heaven
to receive but once.