An orange shirt hangs in my closet. My second ever. It's got a sheen & a stretch altogether unnatural, some space-age material that doesn't breathe & doesn't fade. It's a golf shirt from another era, a stiff broad collar, more buttons than are necessary, and a deep breast pocket. There's a duck on the pocket also from another era. Summer 1988, north Austin, I'm watching my girlfriend shop in a fabric store. We were young enough & in love enough to do everything together then, even things I didn't want. I rotated one of those product kiosks, bored & annoyed. And there the duck was on a tiny card, a bright impulse that I knew would make her smile. She sewed it right on an orange t-shirt I wore probably once a week. Decades after we broke up, the shirt lost its snap, and I lost my taste for it. I threw away the shirt but kept the duck. I showed it to my wife, who sewed it right on a new orange shirt. My second ever. Here in the closet, in the home we share, a bright sign of how to adorn a simple thing, of how to keep love near your heart.
Inspired by the love of two women and by this poem.