Closer by Tara Isabel Zambrano

For fun, we make a dating profile and start talking to girls from other cities, words shooting like a script, Hi, what are you wearing?

Pink blouse, ripped denim shorts.


Raspberry colored bra, a purple thong.

Show me? A little lower, yes, right there.

It’s adventurous to sync up on Twitter, push stories on Insta, location enabled, our fingers swiping the apps as if it’s each other’s skin. We ask each other, Will you let me touch you tonight, our tongues circling inside our mouths like thirsty leeches. We rub ourselves to those topless pictures taken in dimly lit bathroom stalls, until our lids go heavy.

Did you cum?

Not yet, did you?

Yes, of course. Heart emojis, a hot-pink smooch. You have an amazing body, we text before we birth a lake on our bedsheets, smother each other’s names into our pillows.

We want to visit the girls, we want to bring them home. We want to untangle each other’s hair. We want to bitch about the size-zero waists and the shrill voices of our exes, show how we dope in the vape-sucked restrooms at school, how we sneak out of the labs to avoid dissecting a dead cat. How we plan to push and prod on the kitchen floor with each other someday, stretch our skin in imaginative designs and bake cupcakes, stick tight, glistening cherries into the fleshy sponge.

When we get bored of sex, we fight without fists, our words screwing the airwaves. To cool down, we watch the same ASMR session, the drowsy wavelengths like eyes blinking in a dark cave until the video runs out and we wait for each other to hang up.

What we have won’t be fixed without touch, though the difference in our time zones makes us safe and complicated. For a while, it’s just, Hi, thought of you.

Me, too.

We cling to, Are you wearing something interesting today?

No, are you? OK, gtg. We give up calling each other, Amazing, Gorgeous, our fingers sore from softening the knot between our legs. Our skin goes cold for a while, until we swipe through profiles, text another name, the exposed ink on cleavage warming through the screen, our torsos bent, our eyes drunk with expectation as we gaze deeply, Closer, Yes, Can you come closer?


Tara Isabel Zambrano is a writer of color and the author of a full-length flash collection Death, Desire, and Other Destinations from Okay Donkey Press. Her work has appeared or is upcoming in Copper Nickel, West Branch, and Post Road. She lives in Texas and is the Fiction Editor for Waxwing Literary Journal.

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