Dorothy Lune

Dorothy Lune is a Yorta Yorta poet, born in Australia & a best of the net 2024 nominee. Her poems have appeared in Overland journal, Many Nice Donkeys & more. She is looking to publish her manuscripts, can be found online @dorothylune, & has a substack at

Author photo: royalty free picture of a ladybug


Terra nullius

The concrete
foreground is italicized, it lifts,
the first to die in the sun is my Phoenix, 

she incarnates as a rifle—
protector of all placeholder-kind,
I send an inquiry to the Australian government 

& it reads: why do I
burn before I tan, perhaps it’s true
that it’s the same with death— death of skin, 

death of language,
something inexact comes to be
a spokesperson. I enshrine my unbelonging as a 

self invitation, my
unbeknownst to Australasia,
despite this I’m identified as unfurled. My womb 

rose up & the
insolvent babe dried away
two thirds of its material— I was the last to break on 

a screed, damp &
pale like an English settler,
the ivory turret strayed from his castle— there are no 

English crowns here.
I aestheticise my identity
with maroon knit turtlenecks & buoyant hair that curls 

upward like a
beach’s evening crest—
enclosed yet open & furled in public winds.