- In Extremis
Lucky possum who, in any crisis, doesn’t have to do a thing but yield: a stroke of narcolepsy takes control. Stunned by an automatic anaesthetic, his body seizes up, and the sudden coma (the silver corpse dead to the wood and field) is actual out-and-out paralysis,
and it keeps the howling, yipping things at bay by telling the world: nolo contendere. Playing possum, as if it were a role and he a gray marsupial Juliet? Acting? No. He’s sleeping out the drama where, making of “death” a sanctuary, he lies until the trauma trots away. [End Page 104]
DEBORAH WARREN’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and The Yale Review. Her books include The Size of Happiness (2003); Zero Meridian (2004), winner of the New Criterion Poetry Prize; Dream With Flowers and Bowl of Fruit (2008), recipient of the Richard Wilbur Award; and Ausonius: The Moselle and Other Poems (Routledge, 2016). She holds a B.A. in English from Harvard College.