We are as jealous as Swann of the stars,
of what they’re doing out there in the dark,
of whom they’re seeing behind our backs
when they have sent us home sans cattleya
to our lonely flats, where we realise
that all that ice-hot charm we took for ours
is radiating on the spectrograph
of a rival’s smile, the neat rows of teeth,
the absorption lines in their irises.
Although it’s late, and it humiliates,
we take a black cab back and wait outside
her window, watching shadows flux the light
through the shutters, to and fro, to and fro:
we find the exoplanet that kills us.