“What counts in war is not … the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit.”

The tensile strength of steel, the power of the heart muscles, the electronegativity of oxygen, the density of an engine block, the tightness of the bolt that locks the arm to the axle.

The assembly of our anatomy, impermeable at every point where it is not carefully tapered. The long and numerous pathways of chemical synthesis, learned through the pain of four billion years of mistakes.

The internal logic of every contradiction does not wait, does not mind, does not care. Not a bit of friction is handwaved out of existence, not a speck of momentum is ever ignored.

Not one atom in the universe will forgive your tiredness, your desire for rest from this precision. Not a thing is not always exactly, pristinely what it is.

We must learn tirelessly, learn as the self-playing instrument that is every living organism has learned, must pay and pay with pain and death.

As we strive to make ourselves into a mechanism to remove either the blood or the guns from every reactionary in the world, our love must move us to a ruthless vigilance.

When they come to kill you, if your rifle is not clean, if your magazines are not loaded, or you don’t know how to shoot, or you don’t know how to keep calm and aim and fire, or your comrades aren’t well rested, or aren’t trained themselves, or you haven’t drilled until it is second nature, or you have not designated a sentry, or if the sentry is distracted,

then you will die and your comrades will die, and the political economy you have learned, and the mass ties you have made, and your skill in leadership, and your knowledge of the enemy’s strategies will be destroyed, gone in a moment—like a dream—

and the proletariat of your country will once again lose its central nervous system, and the guns and the training and the coordination will be all the reactionaries’ for another few decades.

Or if you have dealt unflinchingly with the truth, exactly as it is, then we will move on, one step further toward the inexorable, exacting harmony struggling to be born here and everywhere on earth.