Human on Canvas

A man had a stroke and slumped onto the gallery floor, a spotlighted bit of the floor in the corner of the room, and after a while another man arrived and stood looking for an explicatory plaque, what is this, hmmph, stood and squinted at the man crumpling in and at his limp lower lip, and this second man told his catching-up wife he preferred the photography on the mezzanine, and she said she did too and that she didn’t get much art these days, and another woman who had just arrived overheard the couple and inched away from them, face puckered in distaste at their distaste (that photography, god, so juvenile and effete) and she looked at the man on the floor and his eyes straining to focus and the gallery brochure fallen from his soft grip and she thought yes, yes, life is art and art is life, human on canvas, here is Man dying in his own gallery, each painting and sculpture is a day lived, each one a pursuit of love or truth or the ever-unknown, some days mellow and spare and others violent and unsettled and one, that oil painting in the line of his dying stare, a mire of blacks and bright greens, the last flash of a life flashing; the woman looked on, exalted, and the man died.