Spoonful: A Gathering of Stone Soup Poets

An extension of Cambridge's Stone Soup Poetry Venue.

Poem by Sam Cha

"Lost Day" by James Conant and Cindy Williams


I chose a day you'd be coming home late.
I stole down the dusty stairs from our
attic with the slanted ceiling spotted
with fruitfly corpses and out the heavy
door hidden in the back. Our names were
never written there, next to the doorbell
that would sometimes ring itself on rainy
days—I'd like to think that it was ringing
then, while I was walking down those stairs;
that thin ribbon of sound the bridge between
the absence below, the absence above.
What I know is that it was November,
that it was raining. My umbrella flapped
like a trapped blackbird until it gave up
and folded the wrong way, unnamed itself
into wet rag and steel that no longer knew
what to do with the rain. Neither did I,
so I just stood at the bus stop, let it
soak through. I thought that the cold I felt was
just water. I thought that I was standing
waiting for the bus. I was only
partially right. I don't know how to tell
this story. It'd be so easy to say
that what I really wanted was to buy
us a future at the mall, diamond hard
and as unassailable as platinum.
I am tempted to harp on the absence
of our names, to try to read some meaning
into the ghost ringing of our doorbell;
I feel the urge to talk about how you
and I folded out of recognition
like my cheap umbrella. But these are three
stone half-carat metaphors. They're pretty
but they don't fetch much when you try to sell
them back. The jewelers peer at them through their
lenses, add up the facets, look up, shrug.
No good. But I was twenty-five. I liked
grand gestures. That night I hid the ring in
the pocket of my least favorite pants,
hid the pants at the bottom of a pile
of dirty laundry. They stayed there for two
months. Every time we argued, I'd picture
the ring and smile. I can see myself now.
The world to come, I was thinking.
It would be worth everything.