Beastly (Like Our Own American) Jhuggis*



My last time in Delhi, I was honored

To be taken through a miles-long

Well as miles-wide encampment

For folks without homes…


In fact they built upbeat community

Which was safe stable affordable

And seemingly permanent

For local urban unhoused


But now new pols tore it all down

Created an appalling revanchist

Settlement wreaked havoc on

Electricity/water/food sources


While instead hounding poor peeps

Sympathetic citizens characterise

As those so neglected “don’t live

Rather at best merely exist”:


In my personal experience offering

Otherwise realistically-unavailable

Medical care to disenfranchised

Fellow human beings — many


Of whom were just released from

Carceral settings plus or minus

Have some underlying mental

Or substance health issues–


End up dying 25% earlier than “rest of us.”


*term of art for slums in India