Mariah Rachel Burke
Friends Select School

Noah in Room 214C


Small crabs cling to the last sandbar in this sea

too difficult for you to comprehend where

the wave ends, where the wake begins–

where the cracks in the sand leave

sharp shells, prodding at you.

Piercing, lying shells.

Lying through their spliced tongues, these snakes.

Frankie, may no one lie to you.

May no one cut your angel toes with seashells

unsmoothed by the ripple and tide

of the sea

you wade in by the red house with the white fence.

Frankie, you are Noah.

Call to your animals–

beckon them with your divine grip,

this little secret no one knows.

Call to your cattle, sheep, goats–

To your swine and ravens.

I assure you they will follow

in the wake of a garden of petals

of the jubilant titters you leave behind.


Frankie is born in the winter,

light so rare

it is an immaculate conception

from the darkness.

The sun is broken into tiny spits of glass that scatter across

the hospital floor.

He is lifted, touched, hugged, embraced–

He is examined.

And now they think they know you.

They’ve got you down to a science–

with you squealing beneath, wanting to be understood.

Frankie fails to hear his elephant’s trumpeting,

his bird’s chirping–

the gray cords, sing-song notes

a rich harmony that

shake the air into smooth little ripples–

fall slowly to the ground.

Frankie does not know,

cannot feel the vibrations which hug him close.

Ask him to believe.

The raven sticks his beak far into his warm, moist ear.

Frankie, lead me.

But little Frankie does not respond.

Somehow understands, but

no response.

Does not twitch when his monitor clicks twice, thrice.

The verdict is made,

carved through the stone of a moment, unchangeable.

The sun lies in little bits and pieces

between the frosted panes of mid January.

The re-birth of a year.


Frankie, may no one call you simple.

No one who reports that:

you fail to respond to auditory cues.

No, no, no, none.

But Frankie, you are yes.

Your eyes are half-moon crescents

that giggle as they wane.


When you raise your hands now

Everyone gravitates to you, though you have no beard, no staff–

but I can feel them moving.

Did you lick the ground,

inhale the scattered light which

spills from your mouth

and seeps from your eyes?

Smooth ripples from oceans of truth glide

between the cracks of your baby teeth.

When you lift your hands,

cry out with this happiness,

I only wish you could spare me a slice–

You have convinced me.

Noah, may no one doubt you.