I woke before her once,
And I was whistling, unaware of it,
Then humming to myself. She heard it and sat up.
I stopped.

"Why did you stop?" she asked. "You will not sing for me?"

"No," I told her. "I would never dare.
I might go far off-key, and hurt your ears.
I might bore you, and lull you back to sleep.
It might bring tears to your eyes,
And then I could not bear to look into them.
And I might sing frivolities,
When I should be singing about you."

She furrowed her brow. "Why don't you?"

"I could not make it beautiful enough,
Or long enough, for it should never end.
Taken by my love, I might forget the melody,
Or captive to my lust, I'll get too loud.
And if they heard me singing all your praises,
They might begin believing you are mine,
When, to be honest, I am only yours."

"You're scared I'll laugh." She crossed her arms and scowled.

"I'm scared because you'll laugh," I said.

She laughed.
"Try anyway. Then maybe I'll be yours.
And if I won't, at least you'll learn a song."