Mother & Son
By James B. Nicola

She starts but stares

before she finally tears

his posters down. The Dead,

and Kinnski, by the bed

next to Farrah. Kiss, Queen

shining through the paper sheen,

made-up cults of many boys

who identify with noise.

Pull. Tear.

There goes Farrah’s hair.

Then gently, on his barbell, fall her glossy paper teeth,

ripped sloppily, but happening to form a smiling wreath.

Mom stops ripping, finds a tape dispenser, and repairs the face

and the other posters, too. She will make a sacred place

in a drawer, she decides, for all except the barbell

which, at the garage sale, she will sell

for cash, she'll insist, so that she can store

it in an envelope with all her son's posters in the drawer.