The weekend in Rehoboth Beach
they won a necklace as a penny prize
at a boardwalk arcade, a fragile plastic heart
that read “Best Friend” and snapped in half
to become two necklaces
that brought together formed a whole.
They split it on a windy day,
standing on the pier, the ocean heaving
beneath their feet:
Her half read, “Be / Fri.”
His half read, “St / End,”
like an abbreviation for Saint End.
They saw the same things,
and often they saw the same things differently,
so she might say, “It’s a beautiful sound
the trees are making,” whereas he would complain
of the noise of the wind.
They wore the halves
when one of them traveled. They wore them
for protection. They wore them
when things were bad
to remind themselves
they wouldn’t always be. “Be Fri,” she would say,
to catch his attention. “Saint End,” he’d reply,
before turning back to his book.
Sitting beside each other on the couch one night,
the split plastic resting
on their chests, they argued over
the heart’s sharp edge,
its shape, he said, “like something teeth
had bitten into,” though she was remembering
Rehoboth, leaving him sleeping
in the early morning, walking out alone,
turning at the long pier’s end
to look back
at their life: the lights
of porches at 5:00 AM,
the long jagged coastline
splitting the ocean.