The Bachelor Watches “The Bachelor” #Poetry

I sit on the couch & witness my life
projected on a screen — I am white
w/a chiseled, dimpled chin & no lips.
I’m a farmer who lives alone in a loft
& not a lowly office worker who lives
w/a roommate in an apartment where
dust balls decorate the floors & walls
& the ceiling rings w/children’s feet
running back & forth like baby bulls.
I am crazy enough to be a contestant
on a show where I’m contractually obligated
to propose to a woman who believes
in a heteronormative, patriarchal
idea of what a family should be.
At the end of every episode, I offer
roses to those I wish to make out w/more
& take out on prepackaged romantic dates
I could never afford on my bachelor budget.
For example: a date in a castle, a glass
slipper prop, a clock winding its way
down to midnight. My date & I sip
champagne, chat & eat, then we dance
to a live orchestra led by a maestro
who wishes he were dead. A giant screen appears
& plays a clip of a live-action Cinderella movie
w/Prince Charming played by an actor
I’ve seen slaughter & behead a soldier
like clipping the head off a rose.
In real life, my dates consist of dinner
at Burger King where we dine on chicken
fries & don paper crowns for a royal feel.
On another show date, I take two women into South
Dakota where we fly over the heads of white
slave owners carved into a sacred Native mountain.
At the end of the date, I offer no roses to either
woman & abandon them on a canopied bed
in the middle of the Badlands & take off
in a helicopter to provide the cameras
an aerial view of wilderness & despair.
At the end of the show, I find myself proposing
to a fertility nurse in a barn made to look
like a chapel & not the place where I raised
my first horse, fucked my first goat. Here,
I will milk the cows for our future offspring
to drink straight from the teat like I did as a kid.
The show ends & I rise from the couch
& walk into the kitchen. On bended knee,
I reach for a bottle of beer deep
in the back of the fridge, pop the top
like a question & take a swig, cold
& crisp once it hits my full lips.

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