Not A Christmas Poem

your smile stays hidden
behind a thousand snakes;
scales glistening in the spotlight
you force yourSelf to stand in —
so tall and manly (as you put it)

I still remember the color of your soul
& how warm it felt to the touch
when it was yet within my reach
not all that long ago

your eyes are filled with hope
when my fingers brush the last shred of dignity
off your starched collar 
& I realize
this is not a christmas poem.