Jamaal Wilkes

May 1, 2004
Volume 21, Issue 5

They called him Silk for the moveshe wove intothe fabric of his game

They called him Silk for the moveshe wove into
the fabric of his game, the softnessof his hands
catching the ball, the smooth archis body traced
on its flight to the hoop, the seamless movement

he shot the ball through a hole inthe sky,
how he scored thirty but only brokesweat for five.
Years later, when I began topractice medicine,
I wanted his flawless game, hiscomplete control,

every decision effortless, evenunder the pressure
of an appointment book and fifteenminute clock,
cool with the bad calls that comeat the end of a day,
my skills perfected, my touch soprecise

I could match my moves in anygame against
disease or death with a grace assmooth as Silk.