You make a Tinder profile. You make an OKCupid profile. You make a Match.com profile.
You swipe right on Kyle and agree to meet at a popular brunch spot.
You get there early so you can have a drink to take the edge off.
Eight mimosas later, your date shows up: he’s a large Filipino man named Oscar.
He orders a mimosa and compliments your feet,
how slender they are, your hot pink pedicure.
Where is Kyle?
You make a Bumble profile. You make a Hinge profile. You make a Plenty of Fish profile.
Swiping through Bumble, you stumble upon Brian.
Yes—he’s the one.
You send him a message asking him his top three preferred pizza toppings.
Pineapple is number two.
You un-match him.
You make a Zoosk profile. The earth is a small blue mistake.
You match with Nick on Tinder.
You both enjoy tacos, kayaking, and country music.
You’re both fire signs.
He’s 6’4, an executive chef, says he has a weakness for bangs and Cuban girls—
you’re perfect for one another!
Neither of you sends a message.
Is Kyle not coming?
Rob is from Baltimore.
He just moved here for work.
He wants to fuck you in the ass.
On your Hinge date with Troy, you mention how funny it is that you both enjoy tapas.
Troy’s face darkens.
“I don’t like tapas,” he says. “I hate tapas.”
You’ve confused Troy for Carlos. Carlos likes tapas. Or was it Lucas? Or Marc?
Nobody loves you.
Eric has five pictures holding up the same fish.
You are sure he’s trapped in a Groundhog Day scenario,
forced to relive the same events over and over,
confronted with all of his choices ad infinitum.
You swipe right.
You swipe and swipe until your phone dies,
until every living thing around you dies,
until there is nothing but the void,
dark and desolate and complete,
until there is only Oscar.
On Plenty of Fish, a 62-year old man in Istanbul asks for your hand in marriage.
I could be happy, you think. I could be happy.
On OKCupid, Zach messages you asking for pictures of your feet.
Close-ups, he writes. None of that from-across-the-room bullshit.
You swipe left on Greg.
He’s wearing hats in all his pictures; you assume he’s balding and insecure.
A few days later, Greg shows up again. You swipe left.
Soon after, he shows up yet again, and, again, you swipe left.
The fourth time, you notice as his face begins to change in the pictures,
becomes distorted, his smile twists into a menacing grimace.
Greg will not be ignored.
Adam is covered in tattoos, did a five-year stint in prison for manslaughter,
texts you every night at 11:01PM saying: send me a pic lol.
You’re in love with him.
You pause to read Ian’s Match bio. It says:
In your early twenties, you used to be attractive. You used to have men lined up around the corner.
You used to have a man who loved you—truly loved you. But you let him go.
You wanted to keep riding the cock carousel, thinking you could find something better.
Now you’re in your 30’s and men don’t look at you the same way. Now, you are all alone.
Now, all you have is me.
You send him a wink.
Kyle never shows.
Oscar is your boyfriend now.
Bertha Isabel Crombet was born in a tiny town on a hill about 15 miles from Santiago, Cuba, but lived in Miami for twenty-one years, where she received her MFA in Poetry from Florida International University. She’s been published in Jai-Alai Magazine, Grimoire, and Black Warrior Review. She also received the Academy of American Poets Prize in 2018 and her chapbook, Paleotempestology, was the Winter Soup Bowl Selection Winner for C&R Press.