Blak Brow: ‘Portrait’ by Neika Lehman

To celebrate the release of Issue 40: Blak Brow, we are sharing some of our favourite pieces from the issue.


by Neika Lehman

When I was 24 I was cheating on my boyfriend
and my mother had cancer. Now I’m 28 I sleep with
women, read dirty poetry and laugh at jokes about
theorists I don’t understand.

My country is dry, but when you think of my country
it is wet. I am de-colonial frantic, a blip in your ocean.
These days I have more freckles than I do sins. I
carry my ancestor’s see-through jawbone on a string
around my neck. I am beneath a she-oak of social
media. I am always already falling for you. We have
already broken up.

This poem originally appeared in Blak Brow, Issue 40 of The Lifted Brow. Get your copy here.

Neika Lehman is a writer and artist living and working on Wurundjeri country. Her poetry, fiction and non-fiction has appeared in un Mag, Next Wave, Island, Voiceworks and in the short story collection I Sleep in Haysheds and Corners. Raised at the mouth of the Derwent river on Muwinina country, Neika descends from the Trawlwoolway people of north east Tasmania.

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‘So close to the end of my childbearing life
without children’

‘The Girl’, Marie Howe

I sat in the café while your friend railed at me
if you knew you were going to leave why did you try,
and keep trying
—he meant for children, of course,

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