T E N by Sarah Gamutan

Some notes gave me
memorable stories whether this
room was loved or not. In this
room, I shared memories with some
musicians, lovers. Some of them were
cheaters, weepers, losers and mostly,
they were my counterparts. I hated the

scenery of unfinished tones, how they
didn't reach an octave, the way it gave the
worst sound in my ears - monotonic, copied.
Once, my counterparts considered music as
one boring college class that they blamed
how it defined different kinds of people,
how it caught lives of my fellows which

they hid for a long time. We asked them
to sing, dance, play and strum it the way
they'd like it. These friends, who got great
looks, married rich men, got impregnated -
those who lived their own lives. I liked

the way they meant their own songs, far
better than Mozart or any classical men
who got stuck on my head when they
were pasted on the wooden walls. I
knew I'd be like them too - loved
and cared that I'd sing songs
on my wedding, that my mates
would sing with me too, that
after 10 years, hopefully,
I'd be married too.

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