I find it difficult to be an atheist, because it indeed is more honest but it's a bit darker and lonelier out there in the universe when you don't have that thought that there's a sky god watching over you. I know there is not a god, and if there is and I happen to be wrong, he does not deserve my worship nor my admirance or fealty.
I don't know if you're an atheist yourself, or just suffering from the doubt that many suffer from, but I really enjoyed your diction throughout this piece. The word choice was superb, for example your "brittled" knees and "despairing" faith. It really helps to build the foundation of your plight.
This piece is rather straightforward , though upon delving further, there is so much fine detail added to it bringing its complexity to a higher level; your second verse is wonderful, alluding to the fact that your hands are raised in prayer (absolutely love the diction "steepled fingers") and yet you'll still go to hell. I feel this sentiment quite personally, seeing as no matter what I do I'd be going to hell in 90% of religions because I'm gay, no matter how many times I pray... I find it quite paradoxical when I find Christian or Muslim homosexuals (and no matter what anyone says, I didn't choose to be, and I would never choose to be gay. I would like to enjoy a simple life, and being gay just makes things more complicated. I digress, as I went off on a tangent. Apologies).
This prose encourages me to branch off into all different directions of thought, which is what good poetry is all about. I am rather curious how a religious individual would respond to this, though no doubt there would be some proselytizing in their response under the guise of "understanding your doubt" and trying to reel you [back?] into believing.
Regardless, I can pick out all my favorite parts all day but overall, it's just a masterpiece. I would have nominated it but I have used up all my votes; regardless, I hope other people react honestly as well, and hope you'll write more and share with us! Hopefully someone else will nominate it :)
The amount of pain in this is obviously clear and even though many of us have different life paths and faiths or beliefs or moral codes and ect, I feel like in some way or another, at some time in our lives everyone will know exactly what these shoes feel like. Not that I wish this upon anyone out there, but sometimes you're better off for it once you've healed and grown from it, y'know? While I believe this is a great way to introduce this feeling, I can't wait to see where it takes you and what new pieces you will create from the growth and ashes of this momentary disappointment and wonder.