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  • Chloe Yelena Miller

Italian Vocabulary: Di Sotto In Sù

Updated: 3 days ago

By Chloe Yelena Miller

Italian: “from below to above”) in drawing and painting, extreme foreshortening of figures painted on a ceiling or other high surface so as to give the illusion that the figures are suspended in air above the viewer.

- Brittanica

Teaching ELL, I drew pictures

for prepositions.

Or is it of prepositions?

They are hard, even for madre lingua.

Where are you sitting today?

At the desk.

Under the desk.

Next to the desk.

On the desk.

Even next to you, I’m not always sure where I am.

I get lost following a map,

walking in, around, through my hometown.

I cannot learn these little words in Italian.

I am always wrong about going to or in the movies.

In either language, I don’t know if I work for or at the university.

Our spoken language grows and shifts

with influences. It serves to communicate.

Which is all we need, really.


Chloe Yelena Miller’s poetry collection, Viable, was published by Lily Poetry Review Books (2021) and her poetry chapbook, Unrest, was published by Finishing Line Press (2013). Miller is a recipient of a 2020 and 2022 DC Arts and Humanities Fellowship (Individuals) grant. She teaches writing at American University, and Politics & Prose Bookstore, as well as privately. Miller is the co-founder of Brown Bag Lit; she teaches and organizes events for them. Contact her and read some of her work at /

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