Meet the Major Arcana | Erika Mikkalo
Erika Mikkalo lives and works in Chicago. Her writing received the Tobias Wolff Award for short fiction from The Bellingham Review. Other publications include Exquisite Corpse, Beloit Poetry Journal, POM2, Columbia Poetry Review, fence, Another Chicago Magazine, Chicago Review, Descant and Vlak.
- The Lovers
The Lovers walk down the street holding hands, blind as cave newts, innocent as embryos, euphoric in the ecstasy of mutual discovery, fascinated by the mundane, the banalities of the beloved; clothing choices, meals, entertainments, utterances, enthralled by a goofy gesture or sideways glance. The Lovers cede that male and female define one another, but feign ignorance of archetype, that someone stuck the yin in the yang. The Lovers discover one another and it anaesthetizes the pang of loneliness. The Lovers construct one another within their respective heads, actual reality be damned. The Lovers declare damn the torpedoes full speed ahead. The Lovers are a solidly constructed limited liability partnership considering an eventual initial public offering. They inventory limbs and crevices, crannies and planes, hinges of immobile bone and pads of gentle dimpled flesh with all the concerned attentiveness of a nurse attendant. The Lovers find one another robed with electricity, resplendent. The Lovers bicker so the food tastes like sawdust. The Lover’s glimpse of the other induced the heart to leap up like a dog at the return of its master. The Lovers have no desire to flirt with disaster. The Lovers have a mental soundtrack of their courtship, a digitalized recording (Grand pianos crash together). The Lovers have hit their lifetime quota for drama and just want something stable and secure, warm and mature, steady as a heartbeat, relentless and healing as a summer rain. The Lovers labor together and offer a balm for the pain. The Lovers are allies, and, sometimes, adversaries. The Lovers make people smile when they pass by. The Lovers want to embrace in public, to share with one another life’s tribulations, petty indignities, and tiny victories, however minor, however trite. The Lovers are the strength and sweetness in life. And it is right. And it is good.