Apollo’s Kiss After the Hurricane
Is nothing like before the storm, when he had created the golden child with Daphne.
More mechanical, now. Sharper.
Geometric, his mouth a square. Walking miles and miles to the aid station for food and water and a yellow tarp, Apollo has lost his roundness.
Purposeful, with a biological duty. Apollo believes they must replace who he fears they have lost.
But his kiss is kind, as is his body. Nothing goes harder or deeper into Daphne than is necessary. She is exhausted too, her face finally still. His is not, and he hides it in her hair.
Tomorrow, Apollo will stand in a long line. At the far, far end will be men with clipboards compiling lists of the missing. They will want details — distinguishing marks, what Laurel was wearing, where she was last seen — but no embellishments. Nothing about how the girl shone, gathered wildflowers.
Singular. One kiss, like a sip or a spoonful, doled out at a time. One by Apollo on Daphne’s pale cheek with each. ‘She was wearing her purple jacket, wasn’t she?’ Kiss. ‘And orange boots?’ Kiss. ‘She was in your arms. You tried to hold on as the wind and the water rose.’ Kiss.
Karen Walker writes short fiction in Ontario, Canada. Her work is in Reflex Fiction, Sunspot Lit, Unstamatic, The Disappointed Housewife, Retreat West, Five Minute Lit, Sundial Magazine, 100 Word Story, and others. She's at @MeKawalker883.
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