My Heart is Invisible Vol. 4: What Goes Unsaid

In the wake of the fatal police shootings of Philando Castille and Alton Sterling, writers in the Grub community asked for a space to address the effects of police brutality on communities of color. To create that space, this series of "Writers React" is dedicated to personal essays that respond to prejudicial violence. The title, "My Heart is Invisible," comes from the first essay in the series, "Driving While Me," by Kerry Beckford. In this fourth installment, Maria Isabel Rosario reacts to what compels her to write. 

Is it fear, is it anger, is it all of the above? I am frightened by your apathy, by your willingness to discard the meaning of my life, as though some wrong move or mistake from my youth could justify my end in a hail of bullets. I write now to calm the flames of fear burning in my soul, to give the caged bird a voice, to say the things I have left unsaid for so long.

I am terrified because one glad morning I might leave my home and never return. My taillight might be busted, I might forget to use my turn signal, my car might be too nice, I might get stuck on the side of your road. I am angry because you will tell my mother, my father, my siblings, and my friends that I deserved to die. You will dismiss me as a thug, as an angry black woman with a troubled past, as a statistic. You will justify my murder by arguing the trivial details; she moved right when she was ordered to move left. How was the officer to know she meant no harm when her wallet or her purse resembled the ominous shadow of death?

I am afraid because I know my life truly doesn’t matter to you. You might say it’s not true, but what about my brothers and sisters? What about Trayvon, Tamir, Sandra, Alton, and Philando? Their voices have been silenced. The pages of their lives, interrupted, will remain incomplete forever.

So I write now to fill their blank pages with my hope. I write to say those things that have been left unsaid by so many for so long. I write so that one day all lives will truly matter.   


Maria Isabel Rosario holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University. After graduating, Maria began working as an Adjunct Instructor in the English and Flexible Studies Departments at Middlesex Community College. Outside of the classroom, Maria enjoys honing her skills as a writer, exploring other cultures, music, and cooking.  

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