Two Poems

The Glow

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
          everlasting afterlife

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.
Paint flows.

—Phyllis Wax, Milwaukee, WI