Intimacy and Other Bruises

Issue One, Review

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Intimacy & Other Bruises
By Molly Lukin
Reviewed by Mia-Francesca McAuslan

‘I don’t have a type
but I will admit a few exes
wanted to be Leo in Titanic
back when their young mothers
thought they were girls.’

There is a particular place Molly Lukin’s ‘Intimacy and Other Bruises’ touches you – somewhere ‘between the elbow and the armpit’, beneath the crease of your knee. Her words touch sharp like a cold hand on the back, then slide down and grow warm in the place between your legs.

The poems are sensual. Erotic and of the home, they are moments that happen inside a small space hiding in a larger place. They creep between darkness and light. They are cavernous, romantic and wet. Sometimes brutally present and other times hauntingly absent. 

There is the tenderness of mother, of sister, of woman. Ruin caused by mean lovers. Nostalgia. The taste of VB and spit.

A swill that leaves you gagging:

‘I want to see you
baby come over’

The prose tends to the body, to memory. Delicate cartilages curving their way around heavier themes of trauma, toxic love and self-sabotage. Words bow to the next like lovers to dreams of brighter futures. This is a narrative that speaks specifically to the chemistry between body and heart.

Intimacy & Other Bruises will leave you bruised, but in the best way: hot, heavy and stung.


Molly Lukin writes poetry and short fiction on love, sex and other intimacies. She’s run queer storytelling workshops, she makes community radio for 3CR and also works for The Lifted Brow. Her writing can be found online at The Suburban Review, Scum Mag, SPOOK, or in private love letters. She has a self-published collection of poems called Intimacy and other bruises, released in September 2015She hates bios; loves strip karaoke.

Mia-Francesca McAuslan is a writer from Melbourne and intern at The Lifted Brow. In September, her manuscript ‘Moonshine On A Lonely Planet’ was longlisted for The Richell Prize by Hachette Australia. You can find her at @miafrancescamc.