I have a red shirt, faded and worn,
smelling faintly of vanilla.
It never makes it quite to the hanger;
it just calls to be put on.
It's never buttoned or accompanied by
other items of clothing.
It's partnered, instead, with snapshots
of you, watching me laugh with serious eyes
and bemused, half-smile on your face.
That was the moment, the second I knew
that given the time, it was you
who could see me exactly as me
and end the cliff jumping for good.
That safe and secure could never be boring,
comfort a gateway to weakness.
I wish we'd had the red shirt before
when we first wanted each other.
The decade between could have filled the void
of the photos not taken and saved. I regret
the years of missing that look and you quietly telling me why
you liked the shirt and loved me in it.
That path we ignored, then came back to, too late,
makes the hardest word, simply, Goodbye.