Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

Audio: How to Be a Woman According to Prime Time

How to be a Woman According to Prime Time

go shopping
get that new lipstick
get that push-up bra
get that man
get those heels
get that pill
get that perfume
get that degree
don’t intimidate him
be lacy not crotchless
get that ring
bling bling bling

wear a white dress
invite 200 of your best friends
have a ten-layer cake with a pound of pink frosting
& a plastic man and woman dancing on top

go clean the floor
mop glow
work full-time
cook breakfast lunch dinner
get pregnant
wear eye shadow & stilettos for the whole 40 weeks
give birth
go to the gym
get your body back
go back to work asap
get a promotion
get a manicure
get a Brazilian wax

thrill him tonight in 5 unconventional positions
raise the baby
erase the laugh lines
erase the frown lines
cover those grey strands
tweeze your chin whiskers
keep that blood to yourself

don’t cry
don’t    get       angry
keep cool
preferably with your lips slightly open
& a blank look in your eyes
have margaritas with fashionable women friends Fridays once a month

That’s how you do it

Don’t you
Don’t you
Don’t you


Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie is the author of Dear Continuum: Letters to a Poet Crafting Liberation (Grand Concourse Press) and Karma’s Footsteps (Flipped Eye). She is the Poetry Editor of the literary magazine African Voices. Her work has been published in North American Review, WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly, Black Renaissance Noire, VIDA, Crab Orchard Review, and BOMB.  Tallie’s work has been the subject of a short film “I Leave My Colors Everywhere.” Her work “Strut,” a collaboration with photographer Dominique Sindayiganza, deals with body-image, self-acceptance, and investigates the role of capitalism in women’s perceptions about their appearances. Excerpts from the series appear in the most recent issue of Hysteria magazine.