Submitted poems by Rukhsar Palla

Bittersweet in Season

 I am grapefruit   
in season.
soft, pink, lovely
even when bitter
on the tongue.
We have spent many nights like this,
a chest arches
legs spread.
I say, have mercy
as your tongue
tastes grapefruit slice.


Rukhsar Palla is currently a graduate student in Emerson College’s M.F.A Fiction program. She graduated from Seattle University in 2017 as a Sullivan Scholar where she completed an English/Creative Writing major and a French minor. Her poems have been published in Fragments, The Cape Rock, Straight Forward Poetry and other literary magazines and journals. She is currently the Fiction Editor of Redivider, Emerson College’s Literary Publication as well as the Creative Nonfiction Editor at Crab Creek Review, a Washington based literary journal. She is also the founder and president of the Writers of Color graduate student organization at Emerson College, where she is working on voicing the collective realities and injustices people of color face, through collective healing and writing-related pursuits. She hopes to graduate from Emerson College in the Spring semester of 2019 with a collection of short stories vocalizing some of the experiences of Pakistani Muslim women globally. In her spare time, you can find her sleeping under her pink rose tapestry or making chai in her kitchen.

From poetry to prose, flash fiction to longer forms, Rukhsar Palla speaks it all. Never one to shy away from the truth, her words in person are just as powerful as her written word. Rukhsar openly shares her life with others, her space with strangers, and her intimacy with confidantes. Her poetry speaks true to this. In exploring pink and its myriad of associations, NTCH showcases Rukhsar’s poem about identity and intimacy, through the image of a grapefruit. It just so happens that this poem’s imagery inspired the cover photo for this Faded Rose issue.