numb by Giana Longo


atta girl is not what the fathers
belt to the daughters in cleats

jogging over poorly cut grass
and avoiding contact.

it’s what they yell to the ones
who brace themselves for impact

hip-checking opponents
falling to the ground with hard bruises

and getting up as if there were not
grass stains, bright green and brown

streak marks like tire treads
from unstopping cars, along their sturdy legs,

outstretched arms and tender sides
pain too real for anything but stifling.

those are the girls who hear the praise
for taking on hell, pretending to feel nothing


Giana Longo is a writer of creative nonfiction and poetry from Philadelphia. Her poetry has appeared in Blue Marble Review and Adanna Literary Journal, and her articles have been featured in Philadelphia Magazine. Currently, she is working as a copy editor and freelance writer while completing her MA in Writing Studies at Saint Joseph’s University.