Kamilah Aisha Moon

Perfect Form

North Charleston, South Carolina, April 4, 2015


Walter Scott must have been a track athlete

before serving his country, having children:


his knees were high, elbows bent

at 90 degrees as his arms pumped

close to his sides, back straight and head up

as each foot landed in front of the other,

a majesty in his last strides.


So much depends on instinct, ingrained

legacies and American pastimes.

Relays where everyone on the team wins

remain a dream. Olympic arrogance,

black men chased for sport—

heat after heat

of longstanding, savage races

that always finish the same way.


My guess is Walter Scott ran distances

and sprinted, whatever his life events

required. Years of training and technique

are not forgotten, even at 50. Even after being

tased out of his right mind. Even in peril

the body remembers what it has been

taught, keeping perfect form

during his final dash.




“Perfect From” first appeared in Prairie Schooner and is from Starshine & Clay (Four Way Books, 2017)