The Breathing Palace

Gillian Kessler Poetry

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The death rattle is right in my frequency

Like the vibration of logging trucks

The way I fear earthquakes

Irrationally and at my core

Waiting for death is like

Waiting for birth

This is nothing new

The monitor of a pulse

Quickening of breath

Water through a straw

From the overlook

You can see heaven

The sockets of your eyes

gouged like ancient rock

the clay around the golden Buddha

You lay so still on your side

I'm thinking about sugar skulls

children make on the Day of the Dead

I'm thinking about the mouth

Free from teeth

From lips


Poems are soft gods

Like pecans and peaches

Their texture and sweetness

A tree split in two and blackened by lightning

The delicate stalks of fireweed

A golden girl runs down the golden trail

Her golden and smiling dog

Sometimes I hate the lines beneath my eyes

Sometimes I love them


I wish I knew the names of more wildflowers

Next time I'll buy a book

Take a picture

Take a hike


Today my pictures are out of focus

Eliana’s thick curls smell like this meadow

Solomon’s spine is this path

Scratch my back mama

Scratch my back

Some women have very low expectations for their men

The sun reaches her kind and weathered hands

A soft rain on the valley

How heavy can you be  



The snakes burrow beneath dry earth

The tides recede

Again and again

She reaches toward us


May 2016 – Cherish
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About the Author

Gillian Kessler

Gillian Kessler can be found dancing to loud music, teaching exuberant children to appreciate language, writing in the early morning when everyone is asleep and exploring the wilds of Montana with her beautiful family. Read more about her eclectic and full life at .

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