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Ayanna Florence, performing at WoWPS 2023 in Baltimore, MD.
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I pretended to like collard greens for The first 20 years of my life Let that nasty grassy green slide Down my throat like a good girl Swallowed and smiled more grimaced than Grin like Okay That's so delicious And the LIE the LIE tastes like acid on The tongue like regret like wishful Thinking I wash it down anyways because It's just habit like that I've just been Programmed that way to eat whatever Crosses my plate to know I ain't going Nowhere so that is spotless to be Grateful I have anything to eat at all In my parents My parents made sure I knew my free will Want free that my choice won't a choice That I was going to eat regardless if I Liked it or not and growing up in a Household where no is more curse word Than means no gets caught in the Back of my throat like neck bones a Thorn in my thorax waiting to be hacked Up like ham hock no be a barrier be a Boundary a broken bone and a bullet Begging for me to pull the trigger so The first time I told a no And he didn't listen My body froze it remembered supper time Before I could and said you better eat Whatever crosses your plate you ain't Going nowhere so that is spotless
Be grateful you have anything to eat at All so I was and I did because that's What good girls do shrink ourselves Until we're small enough to swallow Whole let our bodies be a rest stop Force feed ourselves collard greens for 20 years it says say no thank you I hate That so when I have kids imma make Sure they know that no be a Battle Cry I Dare you to try me a goddamn Right because God forbid their autonomy Be absent God forbid their bodies only Know what it can do for others God Forbid they choke down nose like chewing Gum and spit out sanctuaries like Sunflower seeds no It's my new favorite word as in now you Can't me or no this ain't Yours this oh my no you don't tell Me what to do with this body you know I don't want none of your nasty ass collard greens Foreign [Music]