something in the coding is wrong wrong wrong when I fear asking your kisses because
that’s all I can have –
when creeping in at my sides is the fear of offering too little
not asking too much
a girl cannot win, cannot win
and the draws and near misses pile high on the heap
the heaped hopes that you’ll reach but never do.

I have a code for you saying ‘X’,
my counteroffer neatly creased and ironed clean
[as if never or long last used, fancy that!]
I know how to say ‘how about Y instead’

and maybe it’s a foundless fear but here where I am younger than I like
I feel forever too little, outgrown my shoes but not my shawl

(will you hold me steady on my feet,
at hip one broadsweet hand and hair the other?
to lead the two-three waltz through my one, one, one?
I may not rise to trip in time but quick to learn the tune and tap along)

[something in the coding is wrong wrong wrong
when I offer you nothing in case my something is too small]