With soot stained fingers and bits of red
brick under his fingernails, Santa slumps
in an alley of black garbage bags. In his heart,
elves beat their mallets in a four-count rhythm;
tinker toys bashed against a monolith.
He holds his iPhone like a remote
control for his life. His finger swipes
the screen to revisit his children
and grandchildren as they smile
in the sunshine, long gone.
At night, under a newspaper blanket,
he watches videos of birthday parties,
babies aglow in their first candlelight,
presents torn open, and his heart
sinks further into the well.
He turns the camera on himself,
presses the screen to his eye
and tries to apologize in blue
lines from inside his mind.