“Anatomy of a Prayer” by Omar Holmon


I can count the number of times I’ve prayed on one hand


My best friend asks me
“Why is it every girl you date wants to find God after they have sex with you?”
I reply, “I don’t know Ian why is it you tell time by saying
‘It’s a quarter to whiskey or half past tequila?’”


I believe in Murphy’s Law
“Anything that can go wrong will… go wrong”


My father is a man of science
I don’t know what he believes in
I’d sooner question if he’s found proof to what color human God bleeds than ask him


My mother is shotgun subtle when it comes to bad news,
“I rented that Erin Brokavich movie with… whats her name? The woman with big teeth”
Julia Roberts?

“Yea…oh by the way the cancer came back.
It’s in my liver and spine….
Seriously her teeth are huge”

She believes in God the way I think that everything will be okay
but I’ve been watching her lose faith in her human
as the presence of a cane becomes a reminder
that her shotgun subtle is becoming sandcastle

and whenever people say she is in their prayers
I become more of my father’s son

trying to configure an formula for the measurement of prayers
as if I could calculate how many more it will be
until she is allowed to take sitting up for granted again

How many more till I believe everything will be okay


I ask her if she is afraid
She says no
I ask her if she thinks this is it
She doesn’t know
Then I ask “Soooo between me and you.
You want my brother to be the one to pull the plug
because he is the least favorite right?
Cause I figure if its gotta be one of the kids to do it… it might as well be ‘That one’ right?”

She laughs,
Says my humor always came like a prayer being answered for her


All along laughter…is what the anatomy of my prayer looked like
this is how I pray, at the altar of strangers.


My mother is too stubborn to die
her pride is a Scientific Law that states
The will to live is not privilege or birthright it is fight

In other words, “I’ve had two ex-husbands if I can survive their bullshit then I can handle this”
I’m running out of life not running out of fight
if death feels I cheated him the last time we met
then this is a rematch 3 years in the making


Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the rematch of the century
introducing the challenger with a record of 5.8 million knock outs due to cancer alone

The white light at the end of the tunneeeeeel…. The Grim Reaper

And our champion, weighing in at “none of your damn business”
sporting a record of 15,000 ass whooping over a span of three kids

Isabelle “I’ll give you something to cry about” Holmon


I believe in Murphy’s Law, everything that can go wrong will go wrong
But I also believe in anomalies, that everything that can go wrong will get better
I believe the color human that God bleeds is compassion

and I believe the will to live is not privilege or birthright
It is fight, it is instinct, it is your swan song sung backwards

Mom…I believe ….that everything… will be okay

More poetry at Used Furniture.


  1. I like the whole piece a lot but my favorite line has to be:

    “All along laughter…is what the anatomy of my prayer looked like”

  2. My favorite line: “…her shotgun stable is becoming sandcastle”

    Great piece, Omar. Love the format as well.

  3. this the second poem i heard Omar perfrom during our introduction, the lines that stay with me;

    ”the will to live is not a privilege or a birth right, it is fight.” and “the color human that God bleeds is compassion”

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