At 10, I studied Vera Ellen’s legs,
stick-thin, high-kicking beside Danny Kay.
For her I gladly gave away my lunch,
ran circles at the rim of our backyard.
Took notes on Audrey’s waistline in Charade,
her disappearing act, her sideways spin
to near-oblivion, and that sly grin,
as if in on the joke that any girl
who really wants to be seen has to shrink.
At night I’d lift my thigh up from the sheets
push the flesh from the bone, pretend, and pray.
Mornings I’d wake and do it all again,
studying longing, studying vanishing.
Why that? I could have studied anything.