Seafaring Split, 2016 poetry chapbooks by Jessica Q. Stark and Kiley McLaughlin

Ada is my unborn child.
Ada is a wretched beast.

Ada has a face like an anesthetic, voice like a dropped air conditioner.
Her favorite song is “Let Me Down Easy.”
Ada will never once let anyone down easy.

Ada is a lying thief.
She has a hold on my smoke, on my blood-borne diseases.
She is not budging.

One thing Ada is known for is her nubile intensity; this is a strange thing
for a mother to know.
One thing Ada is not known for is tact.

Ada is a wretched beast, lying thief.
You would not believe what Ada has tucked behind her ear.

Ada does not want the new candles, the new billow they bring.
Ada is furious.
Another thing Ada is not known for is levity

This morning Ada saw the Guadalupe in her English muffin.
This morning Ada saw a pilgrim at the door.
Ada will not be coming home for Christmas.

And Ada will meet a calamitous end.
And before that she will disappear for weeks—this will be the time
when I am most proud.

But Ada does not flinch.
Ada misbehaves.
Ada will trick you if you’re not careful.

At some point, Ada will announce that she is only interested in sick men.


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