My dida brings me blessings
in little white bottles,
the words Fair and Lovely printed
in a cacophony of pink and grey.
On the bottle, two faces stare—one hides
behind the other, dark, envying
her twin, fair, beaming.
The shadow of perfection
mirrors perfection itself.
A glittering helix
envelops the two faces—two strands
of silver unfurling, folding, flowing
onto one-another like the tears
that stand in each eye
as dida lathers on the stinging cream.
Gone is the ash smeared
on my elbows like ritual, my arms’
dark shimmer under dim light.
“There we go—Phayar and Labhlee.”
(Expert fairness solution.)