Danielle Evennou

Danielle Evennou Portfolio

For 90 Seconds

wait for your
friends’ 11
-year-old son
a men’s restroom
you = woman
at an amusement park
in muggy July
with no children
and anxiety
take a breath
consider illness
consider hand sanitizer
consider kidnapping
consider trafficking
consider the media
consider a violation of privacy
consider his mothers
a gray crown of
worry sprouting
from your head
a bead of sweat
slips down
your chin
consider the outdated
nature of bathroom systems
the Orlando heat
amplifies panic
as you open your mouth to
his name

Gray Jacobik, “The Sea Has No Syllable,” encaustic on cradled birch panel, 24×24


a blanket of electric moss
mallards in flight over palm trees
ferns the height of human bodies
a line of non-bombproof trash cans
non-alcoholic beverages
a failed political party
abandoned birth certificates
the endless pursuit of income
hair dye, to be newly single


Dear Anxiety

You’re more static than anything,
molecules lost on their way
to anger or sadness.
You haunt me like a ghost.
I wish you were Casper,
friendly and could introduce me
to Christina Ricci.

Instead, you’re a car alarm
that wakes me up at 3:00 AM
even though I left my car
in New Jersey 10 years ago.
No matter how hard I hide my accent,
I can’t get you out of my circuits.
You torture my guts and

keep me from trying new things,
like freelancing and Thanksgiving Orgies.
I wish I could blow you
up up and away like a balloon
or the elevator in Willy Wonka.

Instead you stretch my body thin.
I try to feed you like giving a lion
a slab of raw meat. I sneak over
the zoo fence and fill my face
with cotton candy.

Years of therapy have taught me
you’ll be back, so I watch
The Great British Baking Show
while I still can.

You come down like a cloud
fogging the answers
to easy questions.
Is it better to make copies at FedEx or Staples?
Is this poem finished?

You make me more reliant
on other people.
You’re the reason I always call someone
when I walk home from Target.

Despite others’ advice,
I stubbornly resist
ways to loosen your grip,
yoga or running
through Rock Creek Park.
I refuse to clean the fridge
when I can’t sleep.
Sometimes, masturbating helps.
Mostly, I wander around
desperately texting my friends
until one of them says,
“People love you.”

You recede as I start crying.
I race to the closest mall
because, for some reason,
you refuse to follow me there.

I try on cocktail dresses
and rub expensive hand creams
into my knuckles.
I eye cartoon characters
made of Swarovski crystals.
Spend twenty dollars
on new mascara
that’s not even

As I eat three Chipotle tacos
with a Starbucks mocha,
I tell you to suck it.
Knowing right now
you’re not here
to listen.


Pro Medication Poem

I shiver in the Safeway Café
eating organic gummy bears
waiting for my prescription

in a black and white dress
purchase a pill cutter
my stomach sputters

freshly chopped jalapeños
dance through my bloodstream
waxy tongue like I’ve eaten Mickey Dee’s

shoulders and chest blanketed in sweat
the sparks under my skin form a layer
to protect me or be broken

drink a bottle of water for comfort
afraid that one sip of coffee will deflate
the gains of my now-medicated body


Danielle Evennou grew up in suburban New Jersey. For over a decade, she has hosted poetry readings, workshops, and open mics in Washington, DC. Her poetry and memoirs have appeared in apt, Dryland, Gargoyle, Blue Collar Review, Split Lip Magazine. She is the author of the chapbook Difficult Trick (Dancing Girl Press, 2017). Her website is http://www.whatevennou.com. To read more by this author, see her essay on mothertongue from the Literary Organizations Issue; and her poem in the Mapping the City issue.