The name Azellah honors my great-grandmother, the late, great, Cora Elizabeth Ezeller Mae, who went by Zella.
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A dog’s tongue / takes it all / cleans up / and eats up / whatever doesn’t belong / within reach / whatever is tasty / within reach / some grass / for mistakes / and then on / to the next butt / or bowl / A licking wisdom / to program / into our hearts… / so our hearts don’t just / sit in our chest / panting.
Pinch myself until it hurts / Pinch myself awake / And if pinching doesn’t work / A vice / To hold my heart together / And if a vice doesn’t work / Borrow claws / To clutch this days / And when claws fail / Sometimes / I will let you / Pin me down / on one end of a plank / line up the other / with your body / Make a fulcrum / And fling me back into my dreams.
I commit myself / to my life / to the lines I have / in all the roles / I love, and / am relied on for, / and to the craft / of me… / I am sure / that for the lead role / With You / there is an understudy / hopefully / more / than adequate, / and quick / to her mark, / though she / has my / envy.