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Ek Din, Seduisante

ideology: the imaginary relationship we have to the real conditions of our existence. 

-Maria Koundoura

disjuncture & difference;

oof, love.
the way I love
the loves of my life
love love love
such a weak word
for such a strong emotion—

the neighborhood
the friends
the nearby, the near, the neatly packed

place, place, place
prof says place is an inhabited space.

the vastness of the sprawl,
how to cut into it?

urban landscape, repetitive space
social immediacy in between

the dream to escape
has expired
french riviera too kind
red jasper in palm
neonatal kittens in incubator

this time there is no critique
no complaint
just cradle
and singsong, voice hoarse from crying

speak softly please
deliver me
by water please

my soul fragmented in the ocean


a carnage
flowering in the heart

we expected our accomplishments to heal us
but they never did

instead, I think extensively
of reappearances, real apologies,
and unlearned racisme,
with the tight, hollow ‘r’ in french,

and don’t forget
regret, regret, always my regret.

my eyes burn so I close them for an entire year.


hold me

forgive me

let the water of wudu heal me

I dream bathtub

like sliver of ocean


they say sensitive people get like this


light excitement

as we taper off 

into new versions of self


we are half truth, half trickery

& nothing without rituals:

learned duas and surahs

to ward off jinn instead of men.

my regret is that I misjudged you.


when you cried, 

hold me I hate your absence!


I stretched my arms

around Marseilles,

but city 

never found solace in my arms.


Rukhsar Palla is a Muslimah wandering, sometimes hidden behind sheesha smoke. She received her M.F.A from Emerson College and is currently working on a collection of poems titled, Muslimah Wandering. Her poems have been published in Pank, The Cape Rock, Straight Forward Poetry, and other literary journals. In her spare time, she can be found sleeping under her rose tapestry. She's online at & on IG @rukhsarpalla

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