In the painting the man has a gun
and he is on a rumpled bed and, above,
a statue of Jesus is suspended upside down.
What are we to think?
That the man has lost faith?
In himself – in life – in his god?
Some were frightened, the curator said.
Not by art, surely –
But perhaps they saw themselves in that man;
saw an element of torture and loss; or a man
preparing to challenge a villain, or a man
looking for himself and finding nothing.
Perhaps they saw nothing: just a man
on a bed holding a pistol, as men do