“Ghazal on Independence Day” by Bayleigh Cardinal

Bayleigh Cardinal


Happy I have more dreams than dollars day.
The news teaches me how to sever a map and sell it day.

I’m going to build a tiny house in the mud of my student debt.
Catch a catfish. Happy everything is fried but we’re still eating it day.

From the internet, a mildly scientific study where I definitely die
of cancer if I keep drinking this way, and it’s only Monday.

The store on the corner of 3rd has shotguns in the back shed. Let’s buy
a fifth. Fuck in the parking lot for background, backroom, backseat day.

My friend with crooked teeth says he doesn’t know who to vote for.
Happy there’s a reality show for everything nowadays day.

There’s a coal mine in my mind. A stock photo I bought. One dollar.
A small price to pay for there were no droughts like this last decade day.

I will kiss you on the mouth on national television. I will imply a lot more.
Happy I’m afraid to admit how many empties I’ve traded for change day.

A firework leaves the poverty line. Makes the distant cityscape drip
with light like a painting that hasn’t dried. Happy I hope it will one day day.

Sell me a dream with my name on it, a campfire under this occasional clear sky.
Its emerging stars, I need to believe, belong to my country. Today, just today.

Poets Respond
July 5, 2016


Bayleigh Cardinal: “I wrote this on the eve of Independence Day. I left the United States to come to Canada four years ago, and, though I love my country deeply, though I miss my home, the issues it’s facing are making me angry as of late. So I thought I’d try to write something a little humorous. Perhaps a little dark.” (website)

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