But I’m sorry I didn’t listen sooner.
I’m sorry that whatever is happening to this space I exist in
can’t stop long enough for me to absorb what I hear.
But I still listen.
Outside of my window I hear the crying in the morning, laughing on weekends,
and their footsteps while walking their dogs in the afternoon,
as soon as they get home from school.
Those small footsteps attached to their small bodies.
They have no idea what tomorrow brings. Thank God. Neither do we.
But we forget that.
from the window, when I decide to let the sun in, I can accidentally see them laughing.
I should make these kinds of decisions more often. To let the sun and its laughing in.
Most of the time
I just wish I could absorb their anger and their arguments.
Every single one of them.
I’m sorry that sometimes I can’t stop the sun from collapsing inside of me.
The aftermath from the few times I let it in.
Those few times become the whole. The whole becomes heavy.
I’m not sorry for letting the sun destroy me sometimes.
But still I’m sorry, for the collapse.
I’m sorry that I never created a place for us to make a vanishing act
of those strange noises outside of our window, a place where we could have
turned those noises into familiar ones. The last place you’d want to build a nest in
is that singular broken branch, the one falling from the oak tree.
My every morning is a reminder that this branch is breaking. I’m sorry.
This loud and maladjusted haunt that creeps through the open spaces of me,
is grateful to know that even the sun doesn’t last forever.
But I still listen. Still.
And the universe tells me that
what’s left of you and me will have absorbed what we’ve heard,
leaving behind the sounds of our sun, embers and ash.
It never ends.
So I’ll continue listening, until I’m no longer sorry.
Jessica Ceballos is a poet, designer, cultural wanderer and community advocate, among other things. She is the curator of literary arts programming at Avenue 50 Studio which includes the Bluebird Reading series and Poesia Para La Gente, a program that brings poetry to the communities of LA using non-traditional spaces as venues. She is 1/4 of Writ Large Press, a downtown LA-based small press, and she is literary editor at Yay L.A. Magazine.