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J. D. Sampson

Fleeting Empathy

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Have you ever sat quietly and watched a swarm of flies float around in a cloud? I wonder why, if you try to pay attention to a single one, you might find like I did that it zig zags side to side, up and down in its own established column. You can’t track it for long, it soon becomes a part of the bigger picture again. But for those few . . .

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June 15, 2015

Semester abroad

from 2005

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Pieces of Spain dance in my bones,
Give form to the melodic tap of my toes,
The wine stained scarf hangs proud, Memento.

How could I not go,
Twenty on the dot,
pure innocence, does it show?

A molecular connection to las aldeas tanto lejos.
Since high school español, my pen name Julita.
The fine mystery of culture,
Tongue twists, mind . . .

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May 28, 2015

My moment with a fly

Have you ever sat quietly and watched a swarm of mosquitos float around in a cloud? I wonder why, if you try to pay attention to a single one you might find like I did that it zig zags side to side, up and down in its own column. You can’t track it for long, it soon becomes a part of the bigger picture again. But for those few seconds, before . . .

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May 12, 2015

Me and the moon

There’s a tree taped to the wall. A forest of them, actually. Though, to be fair, it’s not a forest, more a representation of one. Unless you get too close, in which case it isn’t any of those things. It’s a series of black dots and crosshatches. Up close you can see the texture of the wall beneath it. That blank, boring wall. A white one, . . .

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May 05, 2015

#NepalEarthquake

Beneath our goaded feet

A grey face of stone emerges from the rubble.
Hands reaching, shovels digging.

A toll of nine hundred, a thousand.
It rises with the day,
but the sun casts no shadow through the dusty haze.

The world watches and wonders why,
40 percent children but no place to hide.

Images so real compel us to give,
to find a way to make it all okay. . . .

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April 25, 2015

In defense of fiction

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Mountains are used in metaphor so regularly that, as a rock climber, whenever I hear it happen I can taste the bile in my throat accumulating. So often a word can become tainted by overuse and lack of creativity, that sometimes I find myself reading just to escape the monotony of everyday language. In fact, now that I think about it, . . .

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April 20, 2015

Shakespeare in high school

I can hardly recall anything specific that I learned in AP English. Visualizing the half-empty classroom in the north hall of my public school I can, however, remember one thing quite clearly: unwavering attempts by the teacher to force our simple little minds into the pun-infested world of Shakespeare.

Basically never will you see me frolic . . .

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April 16, 2015

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