A perfect stranger, he arrived with a suitcase,
But one guest, lounging under the doom palm

near the pool, knew what was in that suitcase.
She was a sulky testatrix—her purple

lips a volva of desire—and being that,
she bided her time. She wasn’t asking

for trouble . . . she demanded it. Not
the trouble eustasy would cause her ex

shacked up in his beachfront bachelor pad,
but trouble still. She took a banausic

drag of her Lucky, and watched, as the tall
man with the suitcase vermiculated

past her to his balcony room facing
the pool. Room 233. To get that suitcase

from him, she’d have to create the kind
of casual and innocent gallimaufry

at dinner he might suspect. That was her
chance. That was her choice. When the band

started to shout, she’d slip something into his
olla podrida and into something more comfortable

herself. Soon, he’d be having a thrombus
fit for a Southern senator and she’d be picking

through the vomitus for that little suitcase key
that would change her life. She’d have to get

the good stuff quick, throw all the tired bumf
on the firedog, light a match and leave. Oh,

and burn her hot satin black dress, putting on
some old galligaskins to throw the dicks off

the trail. What she didn’t know, what she couldn’t
know, is that the man with the suitcase, now dressing

for dinner in the shadowy light of Room 233,
knew well of her fissiparous plans for his jack,

and vowed he’d never let this Jill get so close
she could hurt him in that way. Never. Never.

As the bleeding sun dripped below the horizon
and the poolside band struck up its first koan

of the night—a ballad for no dancers, just the
empty strophes of windblown water splashing—he

took his own measure in the steamy bath mirror:
had redintegration ever felt quite like this

before? Here he was, all his furious smurfing
finished, his long lost facture tight, and now,

at the fag end of the job and perhaps his days
as well, here she was . . . again. Yeah, he could

deconstruct the privileging inherent in his gender
role, but how would that unwind his bind? And how

would that trim her sails, with him still trapped
in the sweaty genre scene he knew he’d been born

for? He shaved, finished dressing. From his window
he could see her, a long-legged kudu with flashing

eyes, standing so peccant, smoking by the deep
end of the pool. He slid his suitcase under the king

bed, told himself she’d be the tutee and he the tutor
on this night, walked downstairs, and dove in smiling.