vii

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bite my tongue, hold my breath,
you say a girl should not speak.
suck my fat in, swallow my pain,
you say a girl should not feel.
season the chicken, grate my skin,
you say a girl should stay inside.
paint my face, but not my body,
you say a girl should be flawless.
marry a man, stronger than me,
you say a girl should be lesser,
a girl should be nothing.

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