Sanjana Bijlani | Two Poems

The white boy fails to make a deal

I’ll say your name right
………………….if it matters that much
first give me a blow job
………………….show me what you can do
with your mouth

The white boy tries to save me on AOL Instant Messenger

& I’m not hearing All You Wanted by Michelle Branch
or what about my skin or religion needs to be rescued
or why he asks if people in India use indoor plumbing
or why his screenname is the name of a machine gun
I only know that I have never been 1 of 2 brown girls
in any place & I just don’t know how white boys work
I ask Mom what he means & she just shakes her head
as if to say I don’t know if you’ll ever get used to the way
light skin can make brown girls feel like they are only worth
the love that remains after the rest has been bleached away
or maybe she just means that I should stop sitting so close
to the white screen.



Sanjana Bijlani’s writing is rooted in the Indian diaspora and navigating diasporic belonging and cultural memory through poetry, mix tapes, and conversations.