The soul is a newly skinned hide, bloody
and gross. Work on it with manual discipline,
and the bitter tanning acid of grief.

You'll become lovely and strong.
If you can't do this work yourself, don't worry.
You don't have to make a decision, one way or another.

The Friend, who knows a lot more than you do,
will bring difficulties and grief and sickness,
as medicine, as happiness, as the moment

when you're beaten, when you hear Checkmate,
and can finally say with Hallaj's voice,
 I trust you to kill me.

A silver of mirror shines out
from under a felt covering. Think how
it will be when the whole thing is open
to the air and sunlight! There are
mysteries I'm not telling you.

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