falling through the cracks

like kid gloves stretched tight
white plaster, smooth cream
sand and smear buff
until the crack is gone.

my father guides my hand
like this all in one stroke
the smell of putty
sand and clay and powder dust

A perfect wall, flawless

pores gape, big mouthed with age
eyes sag, hag face, paint peels
plaster crumbles, yellows
wrinkles form, cracks open

an old woman trips
coins and pepper mints
fly from her hand bag
we gather round to see

into the cracks
the hollow bowels of the city
ringing all the way
big quarters, little dimes

money down the drain.

men with wine glazed faces
dirty men with dirty hands
and boxes, so many boxes
huddle in the crotch of the church

between buttresses and boxes
quietly, collecting change

as it falls