I wonder if it is his broken and bound arm

Or the ephemerality of his being,

In this darkened bar of interchangeable faces

Which makes him seem vulnerable

Amid those playing at being men’s men

–coarse jokes, soured draught, sexual violence–

He speaks with a poet’s passion

Soft strong words a summer zephyr

Through haze of rude raucous laughter

Shy pride softens sad brow

Evanescent smiles

A taper glowing brighter

Against the darkened banality