FAMILY ON THE
PATH TRAIN
by Sakinah Hofler
Say the dad was a gigantic dude, a Sasquatch
     motherfucker strong enough to strip
Godzilla’s spikes from his back; capable
     of crushing cranium between his teeth
without having to let go of the safety
     rail. Say his eldest son was Satan the Second,
a schoolboy able to sink ships and cause
     worldwide destruction with a single thought.
Then Sasquatch palming his son’s head
     and bouncing it like a basketball
against those hard-plastic seats
     makes sense. Say we commuters
were forgetful this morning—we left our eyes
     on the kitchen table, next to a cup
of coffee, dropped our voices somewhere
     on the subway steps; we never picked
up our blue capes from the cleaners
     or removed our exorcist
ejectors from their boxes. This makes our inaction
     inevitable. Say we also ignore the mother
and toddler brother; she remains a stoic
     stock-still robot incapable of movement
without the on-command. The toddler
     is the only one that moves.
He sucks his thumb, waiting



Sakinah Hofler is the 2017 winner of the Manchester Fiction
Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mid-American
Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Philadelphia Stories, and
elsewhere. A former chemical engineer, she’s currently a PhD
student and an Alfred C. Yates Fellow at the University of
Cincinnati.