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I will not turn my heart from You,

          for You’re the source of my joy.

While You are present,

          I am unaware of myself.

In myself, I am nothing

          but darkness.

You are my light; You are the being

          of my visible form.

Evidence for my existence lies in

          my closeness or distance from You.

Yet now that I cease to exist,

          You become my closeness, my distance.

Where are You not present that I should

          need to seek You out?

Whichever path I take

          You are there along the way.

Sama is the practice of lovers

          in separation:

with every breath, You bestow sustenance

          and rapture. 

I’ve sold paradise, with all its palaces and virgins,

          for a grain of barley;

You are my paradise,

          my palaces and virgins.

Erase the notebook of knowledge —

          then, like Nurbakhsh, say,

“O my Beloved, You are my holy scripture,

          the Book of Psalms that I sing.”

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