Chris Harrison’s divorce was messy because he, too, is a star. In Bachelor Nation if your heart is broken you get a bigger role on another show. If your heart is broken again you get a smaller role on the same show. If you break a heart aggressively you become a host on a game show —elsewhere.
If you do nothing to hearts the show turns its back on you. You may, for a moment, sit by the fire holding a plate of free food listening to the ocean. Then Chris Harrison orders security to make you cry in the back of an Escalade. You are teleported back into a one-bedroom apartment in Ohio where, that particular winter, snow threatens the ground and never falls.
Ryan Burgess has recent poems in Xavier Review, Yes Poetry, Wreck Park, Heron Tree, and Cannibal, among others. Her essay “Ashley and I” was listed as a notable essay in Ariel Levy’s Best American Essays: 2015. She works as a doula in Virginia.