When I Got into American Ballet Theatre, I Called Ms. Cravey

I think she was surprised to hear from me.
For eleven years, while my mother waited, shifted,
stared into the middle distance,
Ms. Cravey observed my wobbly legs stretch until
my knees—hyperextended, swollen—began
to strengthen, pulling me up and over impossible
arches. She twisted each, from groin to bunion,
into arabesque like a screwdriver—open, open,
open. But, keep your hip bones square. I tried
to balance, turn, on starving bones, while hiding
the ones protruding at my collar, It looks unfeminine.

Over the phone, her voice was a haunted echo—
a cool, liquid whisper to my measured rapture,
but I was parched. So I drank.