Better than my Hebrew, these letters traced
by the brains of the fully paralyzed. I’d know
them anywhere. Hurry along the prototype so
it’s cheap enough for the body-locked poet
to use from her bed. No doubt she has much
to say after years spent mute, from small
matters of lunch and temperature to the vast eternal.
She clamors from the windows of her eyes with such
urgency I’m surprised the scientists can sleep at all.
Sixty-six wpm is a fair
clip, but even faster will come. She’ll share
thoughts as easily as a walk in the park in fall,
bright fire cascading all around.
I follow her blue lines and mouth their sound.
What better invention could there be? “Locked-In Syndrome” has always terrified me—having a working brain but little or no way to communicate with those beyond it. This technology promises a way out of that prison.
Devon Balwit lives and writes scarily close to the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
Image by F.R. Willett et. al, from research on “motor cortical representation and decoding of attempted handwriting in a person with tetraplegia.”