RAMONA WORKSHOPS: PERIOD WITCHES

When Love Came For Me

Poem by Joy Etukudo // Photograph by Milly Cope

Love touched me for the first time and I was afraid of her hand

It was long, it looked fragile, and the fingers were bony

I thought to myself, I thought “how could a hand with so little comeliness possess anything worth holding?”

I shifted away from her hand and I shifted

 

I let love touch me and I felt like the panic of boiling water

Desperately rising yet drowning in my own self, drowning in the thing that I instinctively let myself become

I shifted away from myself and I shifted away from her hand and I shifted

 

Love grabbed me by the shoulders and pushed me up against a wall after I wouldn’t tell her if I wanted her to stay or go

I liked this

Love, at the time, did not understand my sentiments

I at the time did not understand love

We at the time did not understand the fearlessness of emotion

We shifted closer to each other and I shifted away from myself and I shifted away from her hand and I shifted

 

I tried to fit love in my pocket but there was no space for her hand

But that was okay because I did not like her hand anyways, I did not like the way it tried to change me

I let love’s hand change me then I said to love, I said…nothing

I did not learn to trust the hand but I learned to live with it,

Love’s hand tried to convince me that it deserved to be let in

Love’s hand deserved nothing from me

Love’s hand shifted away from me and we shifted closer together and I shifted away from myself and love shifted closer to me and I shifted

 

Love did not know me without her, love did not know her hand

After love left, love came back and told me I had changed

Love did not know my darkness

Love only knew my involuntarily smiles and my abrupt warmth

Love did not know that I was a stranger to love

Love’s hand cut me and I waited patiently to bleed

The blood did not come

And everything became ugly and I changed and love changed and love’s hand changed

Love’s hand held onto me with the panic of boiling water and I felt like the panic of boiling water

Both of our hands were desperate

I shifted away from love and love’s hand shifted away from me and we shifted closer together and I shifted away from myself and love shifted closer to me and I shifted and I shifted and I shifted.

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Joy Etukudo

Joy Etukudo who also goes by the artist name Arit Emmanuela is a Nigerian American writer, filmmaker, and photographer. She is a portrait artist that bases her work on the concept of identity and the idea of self. She recently received a Bachelor in Cinematic Arts and a minor in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She plans on expanding her work throughout all the branches of art in order to reach a broad audience.

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