It flickers behind our eyelids,
cooled in a pool
of extravagant wants
Safe, say the power companies,
our plants are completely safe
Gated consciences protect against
thoughts of seepage
Safe, says the government.
We need energy
Cairo, February 2012
They climb out of antiquity,
slim Egyptians on ladders,
playfully scaling walls painted on
walls of concrete block erected to protect
the feared Interior Ministry
from the people.
A revolution of graffiti artists
decorates the city. They are intoxicated
by the air of freedom the crowds exhaled
as they overthrew Mubarek.
The masks they wear today convert
tear gas to inebriants as they paint and repaint
what the authorities repeatedly remove:
fists, martyrs of the movement, generals behind bars.
A pharaoh has been overthrown.
A clot of fear has broken apart.
—Phyllis Wax, Milwaukee, WI