Twilight Dreams — Madeleine Barrow


Image: Nathan Anderson on Unsplash


The air back home is whipped by salt

and sprayed with grains of sand

which jump from children’s footsteps.


The air is scorched by tar

which sears our feet.

Air shimmers and sizzles the skin of snags

stung by Heinz

as we slip, slop and slap.


In New England the air is heavier

weighed down by mist and bells

which chime to hypnotise time.


Time frays into buzzing wasps



They attack my dreams with salt and sun

with Sunnyboys collapsing in their cones

as cola drips down my thumb.

With cracked Sherrins

smothered by youth

damp with grass.

With raw skin

like lobster shells

embalmed with aloe vera.


The wasps spawn as threads snap

as kilometres twist into miles

and day and night embrace in a vermillion twilight.


New England twilights are dense.

Grey stones and clouds lined with indigo.


I dream of cracked earth, of dancing air, of salty sunsets.


Madeleine is a teaching associate at Monash University in finance and econometrics. She was born and raised in Melbourne but moved to the New England region of the US when she was 18 to undertake a physics degree at Yale. She is currently pursuing a PhD in financial econometrics at Monash, and in her spare time likes to bake and binge-watch comedy. Her writing has been published in Voiceworks, Lot’s Wife, the Yale Daily News, and the Yale Scientific Magazine.