If the pier is two hundred and fifty words long, it is important
to know what counts as a word. V does not want to take a long
walk off a short pier. She does not want to need any port
in a storm. When V loses her voice, a word is a step and a sentence
is a city block long. She worked out the notes on the piano,
mapping a route for herself from here to the end of the hymn.
Holding both her binder and the bannister, she will heavily climb
the stairs to the choir loft foot by foot, and after the casket has been
wheeled in she will take in her breath and begin. In the silences
between, she looks at her folded hands on her lap. Through cracked
transoms and skylights silences rush in to the fill the sound.