Professor Zitelli’s Tiny Chai Glass

      In a room, between the hard ceiling
      and shiny floor,
      three sheep pushed their noses down.

      Turkish, I thought. Maybe I am Turkish.

      Brown hands, brown feet in sandals, and men in black wool
      claimed me.

      She was there
      with scarves painted across her body.
      You have a lovely head, she said, do not lose it.

      She held German candles, extinguished them
      with the tips of two fingers.

      Her face snapped–gone,
      then reappeared
      wide and tan,
      as she folded her legs to fit inside
      a tiny chai glass.

      Do not scream, she said,
      there is much here you do not know.

      The men balanced cubes of sugar
      on her forehead,
      and she watched me,

      a girl, upside down
      and swung from that ceiling.


From my book, It Broke Anyway, NeoPoiesis Press 2012. Available from Amazon.com and NeoPoiesis Press.



April Michelle Bratten currently resides in Minot, North Dakota. She received her BA in English from Minot State University. She has had poetry published in Southeast Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Thrush Poetry Journal, Waterhouse Review, and others. Her collection, It Broke Anyway, was published by NeoPoiesis Press in 2012. Raw Dogs and Other Metaphors, published by Maverick Duck Press, was also released in 2012. She is the editor of Up the Staircase Quarterly.