Poem by Soyini Forde

February 2012

What the spirit knows

What if I told you
I'd never made love before
never been this accountable
for writhing, sinuous
and tremulous like a calf
rising on its legs for the first time.
What if I told you
I'd never been seen like that before—
laid out like sliced almonds.
Would you feel sorry for me
if I told you, this movement
was like spiritual déjà vu
but I know I never made love before.
Never free fell into a dark descent
without bracing or flailing.
Never knew what it was
to have God whisper in my ear
never knew what it was
to leave our bodies behind.


Soyini Ayanna Forde was raised in Trinidad and Tobago. She enjoys hot cups of tea, pop culture, select branches of feminist theory, and various facets of West Indianness. She has work in Racialicious, the Guidebook, tongues of the ocean, Black Renaissance Noire, and the Caribbean Writer. She is a graduate of Barry University and the Stonecoast MFA program.