The Unspeaking Center

She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth —
it’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a different celebration

where the one guest is you.
In the softness of evening
it’s you she receives.

You are the partner of her loneliness,
the unspeaking center of her monologues.
With each disclosure you encompass more
and she stretches beyond what limits her,
to hold you.

— Rilke, The Book of Hours I, 17

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