the loudest sound in the world
my parents stuffed the loudest sound in the world in a suitcase
to live with the spiders.
i stumbled upon it at five
when playing pirates under the house
dragged it out of the case, threw it round.
it stained my fingers grey.
then i sat with it at eighteen, baby breakup face.
pushed it between my palms
to flatten the noise,
& then last week
i blew the dust off the suitcase pulled it out
held the loudest sound in the world in my hands again.
the loudest sound in the world doesn’t screech
or beg you to stay,
or force blood rivers from your ears.
it sits while you pace.
the loudest sound in the world is
chipped peach nail polish
seen 7:32 PM
unread books piled bedside
cracked coconut shell earrings
filtering his name from facebook memories
reheated pumpkin soup
the wind swinging from its hinges.
the loudest sound in the world dresses in silence.
it’s a quarter glass of rum, no chaser.
it doesn’t move tectonic plates
or create seismic waves.
it lifts each arm hair one by one
& refuses to speak.
it is a prickle
that makes your heart itch
and forehead crease.
the loudest sound in the world walks through autumn into winter
without a coat
or any gloves.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rhegan Tu’akoi is a Tongan Pākehā completing her honours in English. She only ever meant to write for a password-protected document, but has appeared in Mayhem Literary Journal, Sweet Mammalian, and Oscen.