For you, Solace hides herself in old picture books,
with edges that buckle under calloused fingers
and threaten to rip apart.
Much like we did,
that day you held our heads and christened us bastards.
That day we barricaded adolescent bodies
between your wife and anger.
(It ended in swollen cheeks and lies in the hospital.)

The day has come
when you walk through every room and
beg the silence for answers.
You will raise mattresses and break into closets.
You will take a hammer to every wall.
You will find plastic dolls with tight smiles and swollen cheeks.
Perhaps, you will discover what your daughters did with their bodies.
And finally, after too many years, you will weep for them. E

*Our Father (Portuguese)

Omobolanle Alashe is a young writer from Lagos State. She has appeared in Oyedrum Magazine and As It Ought to Be Magazine. She was shortlisted for the 2024 Alpine Writing Fellowship Prize.