Nightingale

A bird is just a bird.
— Forough Farrokhzad

They took her flapping and screaming,
the white masked scientists,
pinning each wing
to the sterile bulletin board.

Disassociating from the probing eyes upon her,
she fixed her stare on the top shelf
where the periodic table of elements hung
like a foreign alphabet.

The freezing room smelled of formaldehyde.
The discourse remained purely formal,
laconic lines with no possible place
in even the most contemporary Persian poetry:

“Anesthetic.” “Anesthetic.” “Scalpel.” “Scalpel.”
The sterile nouns reiterating the work
of cutting into plucked white skin
to spill blood like ink across a blank page.

Reductive to probe for reasons
why such an operation occurs,
spectators on the observation window
simply face the reality of life.

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