Sage Curtis: Drowning Daddy Issues
Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith

Untouchable Number

            after Host by Jericho Brown


We want eye contact, if only

brief & acknowledging & we want

it to end in drowning daddy

issues. We don’t bother

to read the warning labels

or your nametag. We leave

you singles to say see you

next time. All taps. All forget

our Macbook desk jobs and sorry

studios with hot plates. All

forget the rent is due. No worries.

Every hipbone is a chance to bump

and talk our way out of here. We got

heart cracks and helplessness

to run from. No one graduates

us without breaking bones. We can’t

afford that kind of stability.

We like to tease them with,

maybe you can come back

sometimes. Bring an old ID.

The picture is hardly you

anymore. Maybe eyes. Maybe

nose. Certainly not the look

of some untouchable number

of nights with no sleep. No

too many tacos from Taqueria Lorenas

not much hidden in some

freckled cheeks, smile. Are we

in there somewhere? Or did

we get chased out by boys

who stuck their dicks in our hands,

left without so much as

a thank you. Won’t call you

later. Be there

when he wants to be sucked

off. We try to fight

back, but we don’t know

how to give away bent keys,

just topless pics. We know

the music of pint glasses knocking.


Sage Curtis is a Bay Area poet and MFA candidate at the University of San Francisco. Her work has been published in numerous literary journals and she performs it whenever possible. Recently, she's been interested in the glamour and grit of addiction, and places we find it unexpectedly. You can find more of her work at