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Luci Shaw


The Haecceity of Travel

With apologies to Duns Scotus

Anticipating long stretches of nothingness
we plunge south into California on I-5,
prepared to be bored, uninterested in the view,
and a bit worried that we too may
commit monotony. But then, over us, clouds
contribute their lenticular magnitude to
the two-dimensional—carved by winds into
stream-lined birds or space craft or B-52s.
I take sky photos through the windshield,
admitting that in spite of anonymity, there is never
nothing. Required to obey gravity,
we occupy open space with substance,
all of us on the skin of the planet created
to lift against the earth's pull yet sustained entirely.
We live out our singularity along with olive and
almond trees, oleanders, tarmac, trucks, until
size becomes irrelevant: smoke blue coastal range,
stem of dry grass, brittle eucalyptus leaf,
pebble ground into the ground—each bears love's print,
is held particular within the universe.
Even the small, soft moth on the window of
the rest area's dingy washroom, unaware of our scrutiny,
its russet wings traced with intricacies of gray,
owns an intrinsic excellence.

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