The younger junkies, for a thrill, would toss
Each other roof to rowhouse roof across
Thin alleyways of light, a game whose loss
Might match addiction. One slip and you’re there
Halfway and falling fast. They straddled air
With shrieks and crazed delight. We had to stare
To justify such suicidal play.
Our stomachs flipped. We couldn’t walk away
On the firm ground where heads might crack one day.
David Livewell is the author of Shackamaxon, winner of the 2012 T.S. Eliot Prize from Truman State University Press.