IMMACULATA Oh mud lover, oh dirt, oh sewage, I’ve been wearing April like galoshes, Stomping your ditch in a swill of brown water, nursing your weeds like tits. Well, that’s over, it’s May tomorrow— no more quicksand for me. Is this love, this ooze and stain? Your leeches ride my elbows. Your scum exhales me. Great exhaust, the monoxide you call admirable bubbles up from a low extreme, up from the muck, up from the wallow, hissing like a let-go fart. There’s a stink, I’m raw from this virtue, this clean clean clean rape. Finger of smiles and lies, I am on to you. Fecal soup, your brown scrubbing has a perfectly pious air. Immaculate of the marsh, sump pump, diamond in a quagmire, how to you rise and rise and rise in your own estimation? The trick of caress, say, a masturbation toxic to others. Never mind. Up you go, away, away, dirty incandescence through the sun. --Jane Eaton Hamilton First appeared in Steam-Cleaning Love, Brick Books Jane Eaton Hamilton is a Vancouver, BC author of eight books which have been nominated for a number of prizes and have appeared on the Guardian’s Best of the Year list and on the Sunday Times bestseller list. Her short fiction has twice won first prize in the CBC Literary Award (2003/2014). Short work has appeared in the NY Times, Macleans, The Globe and Mail, Numero Cinq, En Route, VIDA, Seventeen Magazine, Salon, Siécle 21 (Paris), POEM (UK).