If we must die, let it happen. Have it
Captured in stillness: If truly, you and I
Must lay to rest, then let it happen under
The easel. It might be best: and I daresay
That, when old Caravaggio dropped dead –
After all the rumours, the interpretations
Of his sultry gods and their mortal acolytes –
He danced to the floor, one arm arced
In mid-descent, his entire, raging form
Naked in mortality. I think he would have
Appreciated the flesh tones, contours wrought
To utter relief in the gesture, his composition
Final as he fell; his lily-white fragility
Left to lie on his own grave, slave of art.
If you don’t know much about Caravaggio, look him up. You’ll surprise yourself.