September 2004 / Volume Five / Issue Four
Eric Beeny
Steps to Overdose by Unauthorized Prescription

1.
take a pill for disaster relief,
and plot the course
for a space shuttle's falling orbit,

where christians thank god for blasphemy
in surround-sound around the airlock,
tie bladders over their heads like plastic bags,
      though more like astronauts
without helmets floating
through payload doors, whose
wrist watches wear each moment's ear-tick,

snipping speaker wire: even if a bomb
disarmed, they wouldn't hear it
      go off.

2.
take a pill for disaster relief,
and sketch the blueprints
for a drive-thru fire station,

where families can strap their
      burning homes
into the back seats of their suv's
roll down their windows
and lean into the intercom for an order
of oxygen masks and plastic
yellow hats full of water

so when the children put them on,
it won't be too late.