Skin Deep

On weeknights I’m content bearing witness to your damage
on Fridays I don’t know if I’m more jealous of Loba’s curves
or the Gatsbyesque gluttony of Rampart’s silk skins that trigger memories
of every sari I abandoned to flee home with two suitcases Rampart
is everyone I’m scared you imagine after I leave
so stereotypically brash, so phenotypically neat, the East India Company vowels
so freshly unboxed, so unlike my IRL tongue that can’t untangle w and v
because my language will soon be too extinct to earn subtitles and as for Loba

             I should believe in Loba, but I don’t, from the moment
             I read her story over your shoulder, see the empathy flare in your eyes
             because of course you believe women – but I still can’t reconcile
             the boldness, the buxom, the highlights, I’m still complicit,
             we’re supposed to keep our heads down but she didn’t, she grew up
             and got sex appeal and it’s not her fault and every time you play her
             I crouch among your pillows to watch her wearing tigress skin
             and that was around the time you started strafing fuck across casual conversation
             and I wonder how it would feel

                          to meet you on the field, to be dangerous, to hold my own in her body
                          would it be enough to sway your made-up mind.