The Heart is a Computer Game


The Heart is a Computer Game
Artwork from The Bundi Wall Paintings: An Unknown Treasure in Rajasthan by MC. Beach and H. Lauwaert, London (2013)

when i was eighteen 

i thought I’d marry the first person 

i’d say i love you to 

i thought i’ll fall in love only just once. 

like i could control it, 

like anyone can control it. 

so i didn’t end the things i should’ve. 

so i held on tight, even when my fingers bled. 

i’ll tell you the heart is rocket science 

most of the time. other times,

it’s just a dumb-generous computer game 

leaving you infinite hints, 

giving you countless lifetimes. 

once my mother taught me that 

it’s important to hit rock bottom, 

so when you look up, 

you have a clearer picture. 

so you don’t keep floating 

unknown to all the hints and lifetimes. 

when i couldn’t keep my legs glued 

to the floors of my first love’s room, 

i chose to fall in love, hard, if it ever was a choice.

millions of times, over and over again 

with men, cheesecake, exposed bricks, 

jhumpa lahiri, loud printed socks, 

kindness, warmth, 


if not a choice,

i wanted to wake up in the morning

with a heart that wasn’t skeptical or paranoid,

who didn’t still make room for men,

men –

sometimes whose entire existence revolves around their hair.

men who don’t know the difference between want and need,

men whose actions and words are two poles of a magnet.

men who walk around with red curtains instead of flags,

men who go into a room with pockets full of pride, wearing vanity’s clothes on rent. 

this january 

when i heard someone say i love you 

after what felt like an eternity, 

i was wondering if the heart actually is rocket science. 

maybe, on days. 

or maybe not, 

maybe love is still a dumb-generous computer game, 

if you’re kind enough, 

if you just love enough.

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Saheen Sultana Rahman

Saheen is a writer and a communication student currently pursuing her postgraduate degree. She finds beauty in monotony and in run-of-the-mill things. She wants her work to be a voice of rebellion, a sword for change, a lifeboat to save someone else from drowning. She strongly believes that art exists in everything, big and small and that we only need the unavoidable and insatiable hunger to find it. Her work has been previously published in The Alipore Post, Terribly Tiny Tales, Live Wire and Indian Sahitya Akademi.


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