SPOTLIGHT: Breeds of Breath by Matthew Feinstein

Matthew Feinstein is a neurodivergent writer from Tracy California. He is pursuing an MFA at Randolph College starting Winter 2020. His poetry and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Drunk Monkeys, Macqueen’s Quinterly, Running Wild Press, Rejection Letters, and elsewhere.

In Breeds of Breath, Matthew Feinstein writes poems that dare to be different, to look inward on themselves and become cosmic. There is grief and loss and trauma within these pages, but there is also hope and growth, two themes that Feinstein masterfully reflects on in moments readers can live inside of. What Breeds of Breath hinges on is tenderness, and our constant yearning for acceptance, by way of love and of self, and without Feinstein’s additions to that cannon, I fear a part of our worlds would be lost. Get this book for its vulnerability, for the guts it has to make us relearn how to pause, and for its ability to teach us how to come back to who we once were.
— Matt Mitchell, author of The Neon Hollywood Cowboy

Weekly Fantasy

What does promise smell like?

How many breeds of breath

have you inhaled this week?

Do you think of me

when you’re gone?

Do I remind you of home?

I fantasize at home.
When can promise feel like

enough? I imagine you gone—

replaced with the breath

of someone who touches me

every week…

treats the week

like a holy thing. Home

hides memories for me:

A picture of us, fucking, like

flesh is eternal. Breath,

a promise, now gone—

dispersed into air. Gone

feels exclusively mine. Each week,

you inhale foreign breath.
Each week, I want to leave home—

wade through the wilderness like

an aimless vagabond. Tell me,

what do you say about me?

Does he know what gone

tastes like? Is it bitter, like

us? There will be a week

when he’ll make you home

& your comfort-breath

will fade. His breath

will remind you of me.

You’ll speed home.

I’ll have been gone

since last week.

You’ll hurt like

I have. Our home stinks of breath—

stinks like me…Why can’t I leave?

I could be gone by next week.

Can You Reteach Me?

I’m playing chess with you

as if I haven’t done this with

another woman. I hear pieces of

her in your voice as you boast

Check Mate.

We fuck. It’s my millionth

moonlight. You, still foreign,

so I moan a past name.

Do you love me?

I want to say yes but

something else escapes my lips

like a desperate prisoner:

I don’t remember how…


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