Barbara Henning



Despite the steady

discharge of treated

sewage water into

the Hudson, currently

it’s considered safe

for human contact.

Smoking is something

else one does now,

in some places

on the sly, the butt

cupped inside one's hand,

but not in the East Village.

Here smokers

clutter the edges

of the sidewalks.

Through a tunnel of

smoke, I hold my breath

while thousands

line up elsewhere,

waiting for bread or

deportation deferrals.





Barbara Henning is the author of three novels and nine collections of poetry. Her most recent books of poetry are A Swift Passage (Quale Press), Cities and Memory (Chax Press) and a collection of object-sonnets, My Autobiography (United Artists). A Day Like Today is forthcoming from Negative Capability Press. She lives in New York City and teaches for Naropa and Long Island University.