adopted town

i know
my momo
shop and
the mela
ground in
this town
but i
don’t always
know the
shortcut to
haat bazar
or the
name of
the bone
specialist here

at times
i make
an attempt
to know
these places
and these
people but
if you
saw through
me you
will know
i am
still trying
to keep
up with
the directions
and the
identities of
people whose
town has
now adopted
my being.

in other words…

those who don’t belong
to any specific place can’t,
in fact, return anywhere.
The concepts of exile and return
imply a point of origin,
a homeland.

Without a homeland
and without a true mother tongue,
I wander the world,
even at my desk.

In the end I realize
that it wasn’t a true exile:
far from it.
I am exiled
even from the
definition of exile.

-Jhumpa Lahiri in In Other Words