It is a bad idea
to look into a hotel breakfast room
in winter, on an empty stomach,
because no matter how content you are,
it will instil only
the deepest longing.
Silver flip-top hot-water pots
gurn your face back at you in aluminium,
cheeks pink like a baby,
but without the softness.
Your eye meets a man
with over-scrambled scrambled egg
swinging from his lower lip.
He scrapes it off
without breaking eye contact,
and the egg falls onto the plate;
you can imagine the wet slap it makes
without actually having to hear it.
Your hands are thrust deep in your pockets,
while theirs clutch ceramic cups,
coffee steam steaming up their glasses,
palms clammy with condensation
while yours crack and creak with cold.
Your collar is turned up,
but their coats are lined in some cloakroom
like tweed and woollen soldiers
with gloves stowed in inside pockets.
You forgot your gloves today.