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  • we sang karaoke in a dusty little bar on the edge of town.
    it used to feel dangerous to go in.
    i'd get carded at the door and drink fancy cocktails like we were flappers in the 1920s.
    an old warm basement: wood paneling, carpet and stage lights.

    they call your name over the loudspeaker like you've won a contest and my heart jumps in my chest.
    little pieces of colored paper and marks made in pencil.
    you sing elton john like a crooner.
    at the end of the night, after my courage was up, just enough
    and i had splashed my face with water and taken a big gulp of gin
    i took the stage and sang "one fine day" sheepishly at first. then a bit more boldly.
    i forgot about the key change and couldn't hit one note so screamed it a little to get it out.
    a few girls rushed to the stage because they knew the song
    and for a split second i felt like a movie star.

    i ask you, "did i do okay?"
    my boyfriend sang "Bernadette" with such conviction
    he had rehearsed it in the mirror, hairbrush and all.
    girls rushed the stage, he'd perform like he meant it, writing out lyrics.
    i'd analyze the meaning of the song he sang and never think about
    one fine day.
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