I’m from New Jersey, So I Kind of Like Chemicals by Danielle Evennou

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I’m from New Jersey, So I Kind of Like Chemicals

The smell of my uncle’s shed, gasoline and mineral spirits.
My father’s stockpile of lime lawn treatment.
It made our grass dayglow in prom photos.

I rely on mousse and hairspray,
with my hair cropped short, pomade
molding paste, Rough Luxury.

I crave Comet and stain sticks.
Disposable cleansing wipes for:
porcelain sinks, my face and lower orifices.

I collect bottles of Softsoap, but offer
guests grapefruit scented hand foam,
sparkling water infused with citric acid.

I use three different kinds of mouthwash.
As a kid, cinnamon flavored Lavoris
made me break out in hives.

My brother hated mint.
All the kid stuff was bubblegum.
Antifreeze brings me security.

Mudslides, daiquiris, and wine coolers piqued
my interest when listening-in to adult conversations
as did test tube shots at block parties.

Realizing now how much of it was grain alcohol,
an Old Fashioned made with Old English
for a family whose blood hums with machines.


Danielle Evennou

Danielle Evennou is a writer and performer who lives in her own 90’s sitcom: with a strong female lead, roaring laugh track, and the inevitable moral lesson. Her work has been published in literary journals, including apt, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and Blue Collar Review. She has two poems forthcoming in Gargoyle Magazine issue #64. Evennou makes appearances as a poet, open mic host, and a dancing payphone with a penchant for Yoko Ono. She lives in Washington, DC.