What are birds? Just wind-up toys,
given a tickle by the cherubic sun, off to set their clockwork tumbling?
And we eat it up rhapsodic, study their
ineffable blood and guts in labs, with cavernous machines
of din, we eat their song with beeping and with mashing
and with a polyrhythm of neurons snapping furious,
to and fro against a breeze nobody can feel,
not even the birds, any more, shut inside their cages
deep in the sterile shining walls of the lab.
On and on, the columns tumble and the song rolls free,
even as they sit fluorescent and immobile,
trailing their bloody wires because we cannot let song be.
Vinay Jayaram is a PhD student affiliated with the Graduate Training Center for Neuroscience and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Tübingen, Germany