Orienteering—Kris Hiles

The voice I miss the most belongs to my grandfather,
and the last time I heard it he was dead. I was abandoned
in the wilderness of the station wagon – atlas under the seat,
Dad drove, Mom snacked – as we headed north after the funeral,
and the lights reflecting from the windows lit the ground
like and angel descending. I remember,
on his deathbed he said heaven is somewhere to the north. Maybe
he meant he’d rather be ice fishing in Canada, but we were at a rest stop
when he suddenly spoke, glow, in a fog halo around an interstate light,
“They never listened to me, won’t listen to you, when you’re alone
just hear yourself and you’ll be a god. No one commands a god,
little girl. You’ll find paradise. Just keep going.” Then he looked at me,
disappeared into the thunderclouds. For the rest of the day
the windshield wipers couldn’t keep up with the rain.

Kris Hiles is an autistic queer poet living in a blue house with her plants and vinyl records. She likes snow, the smell of archives, and vintage computers. In her free time, she edits GLITCHWORDS, an online micropoetry zine. You can find her on Twitter at @KrisHiles.

photo by Dimitar Belchev (via unsplash)