The Monkey King Descends from the Clouds

A famous image.
A woman wearing a straw hat and a black ribbon
sits in the middle of a field, painting.
The clouds are perfect, and it's overcast.
From the sky, a smoking comet-
The Decorous Monkey King falls out of heaven.
His body is in tatters, and when he lands on the grass,
the woman catches him and he crawls into her lap.
The god's head is bloody and smeared with ash
and he rests for the first time in a decade.

This is the first great illusion. It's been centuries.
Sometimes the two switch places. Sometimes, there's three people.
Recently there's only been one.
Like money, the story also changes its shape from metal to paper.
In one moment, Ishmael clasps his coffin. Judas, his silver.

 I hate this story. I call it a snitch and a fable.
These are all curse words to me, but it never works.
Like arithmetic, the ending is inevitable.
Someone always has to lay down. Someone has to win.

It doesn't matter. I don't even think the victory counts anymore.
The ribbon vanishes.
Then the colors, the holiness too.
But the defeat stays there,
two figures reclining against the other.
This is the only real thing. This is the most important thing.