Dirtbag Christina Rossetti

Previously in this series: Dirtbag Catullus and Dirtbag Sappho.

Cousin Kate, or: Oh Yeah?

The problems did not start with me!

I didn’t even use sunscreen at the time.

It so happened that my skin looked like I was really careful about sunscreen,

but I wasn’t. It was a coincidence.

Had you asked me, “Oh,

do you have especially fine skin, do you use potions?”

I’d have said something like, “Skin? Oh?

I guess I have some. Excuse me,

I’m very busy cotttaging.”

(living in a cottage)

He came to me, all excellence weighed down,

“Oh, wow, cool cottage, great hair,

can I introduce some problems to your life,”


I don’t, uh, want to get blue here,

but ‘shamelessness’ wears heavy fast.

And I wore out too, I mean wore out

Silken knots – they’re silk. You need to wash them carefully

and store them somewhere – I just mean

even gloves need a break now and then.

Even love plants an ache, now and then.

So!!! Here I am, S.H.I.T. out of luck,

moaning in the worse sense,

definitively dove-ness,



KATIE HOTBODY, hanging around her father’s gate,

“fancy running into you here,” and

rye-working, and carefully cock-blocking

all your boyfriends. And it worked! So good for you.

Just great for you. That’s not the same thing

as being hotter than me,

just so we’re clear,

but it’s a well-known strategy for a reason.

And it got you what you were looking for!!

None of the neighbors think butter would melt in your mouth,

which is just so great, for you.

You sure played your cards, Kate!

You beach-loving fuck!!!

By which I mean your LOVE is like the BEACH:

a real fucking disappointment,

impossible to stand on,

ultimately itchy, and unavailable eight months out of the year.

PERSONALLY, if some gate-louche approaches me

with “Haven’t I fucked your cousin before?

And isn’t she homeless now?”

I’m not — simpering behind my fan,

nor bending down to kiss his hand,

his white and shitty noble hand,

his tucked-up, safely-rolling lands,

I’m spitting on him, where he stands.

But! For all your legal rights and glands

your wifely fucks and family brands

The children gotten by you? none!

Inheritances locked up? One!

Who’s mother to his only son?

not Kate! she might as well have been a nun!

This shit between us? JUST BEGUN