Waterford Crystal Celebrations Champagne Flutes by Caitlin Cowan
Managing editor Krys Malcolm Belc on today’s bonus poem: At once analytical and intimate, Caitlin Cowan’s writing invites us to question where we fall: do we value these objects for their beauty, or long for practicality?
Waterford Crystal Celebrations Champagne Flutes
Included in this exciting collection are six flute pairs, including Love & Romance, Achievements, Anniversary, Happy Celebrations, Believe, and Beginnings.
The classic image of the champagne flute is not a single glass, but a pair. Their rims touch, lip to singing lip, mid-toast. Couples in the movies ivy-vine their arms as they sip; the woman invariably titters, the bubbles tickle my nose. Most of the time she is lying.
Don’t get rid of them, Mama begged me after the split. So far I’ve obeyed only because each one is worth just $6 secondhand. No one wants to hex themselves, tippling arsenic unawares. They lay, hull to hull, in the ocean-blue sleep of their velvet box. She spent hundreds so I could be like her. How can I tell her there’s nothing to cheers. The bubbles are carved right in: they don’t need my help.
Like most objects, the flute has its critics. Some say it is not expedient: the bouquet escapes into the air and disappears (like most wives). It looks beautiful, but it is not practical (like the tossing of the bouquet). Often top-heavy, it wants to topple (like most institutions, like lies).
Caitlin Cowan’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Pleiades, Gulf Coast, Boxcar Poetry Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, Entropy, and elsewhere. She has won the Littoral Press Poetry Prize, the Mississippi Review Prize, and the Ron McFarland Prize for Poetry, and her work has received support from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Vermont Studio Center. She holds degrees from The University of Michigan, The New School, and The University of North Texas. In 2018, she was pleased to accept the position of Director of International Tours at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, where she played violin and traveled with the International Youth Symphony Orchestra in the early 2000s. You can find her online at caitlincowan.com.