In the foyer of the Grand Hotel
beneath the chandeliers and stucco-work
a man mistakes me for another.
I nod obligingly –easier than explain,
then wonder if the one he took me for
ever gets the same. I order tea, check
my Twitter feed; someone from Vienna
favourites my pic of Vertigo.
At a crowded table, I see someone
I haven’t met in years -last I heard
he was dry, living with a woman
he encountered in AA, looks calmer
now, not laughing loudly as he did,
and tragic-eyed, as if heart-smitten
by bad news. When he gets up,
I peer more closely at the screen,
half-terrified he’ll pat me on the arm,
say my name.
But he brushes by, pays and leaves.
Strangely smaller now, wider round
the waist- hard to say it’s him.