Adult

You become an adult when you discover—

that shoes also cast shadows though we might stamp on them;

that a calling bell is not meant to alert but to prevent entries;

that even water can be impatient and sunlight a thing of tenancy;

that you actually slap yourself and not the mosquito.

You become an adult when you discover—

that you have become the subject of gossip;

that old love is centrifugal, new love centripetal;

that the human mind is a piece of furniture, and that dust settles on both;

that there is nothing else that is more private than sleep;

and not that those we love will die, but that they must die.

But you actually become an adult when you first commit adultery.

Sumana Roy is a Siliguri-based poet and essayist.

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