El Chupacabra

by William Page


It’s never taken alive, though in life they
say it leaves a scent of putrid death. 
The triangular bite it’s said to leave 
on the breast of prey priests say 
blasphemes the Holy Trinity. Without
fur or hair, its skin is smooth and usually gray 
except for white amphibian scales rising 
along its spine. Like ghosts it has no eyelids. 
The eyes it’s written burn with fire, though  
others swear they’re really moving silver mirrors.
At its rear is a thick python’s tail. Its mouth
is fish-shaped but with long fangs and spiked
teeth that tear blood-sucked victims to shreds.   
According to some accounts of those who’ve 
heard of those who claim they’ve seen it,
the monster’s forelegs are thin and shaped 
like a small child’s arms, and at its wrists 
are baby’s hands with claws. From 
its dog-like snout long gray hairs grow, 
and wreaths of smoke ensue say some
from its tiny but flared red nostrils. 
The skin upon its hidden belly is black, but its 
back and sides are gray, almost blue as bruises. 
All who claim to have been so fearless
as to slay the night stalking creature swear
its black tongue is marked with red crosses. 
It’s been reported by Boy Scouts, 
sworn to tell the truth, they’ve heard 
in thick brush its squeals like a butchered pig’s.
Its ears are long and sharply pointed said
a lady whose cat she cried was eviscerated 
while she watched horrified from her kitchen window.
She testified it left a smell of sulfur when it fled.
Even if the Chupacabra’s shot or poisoned 
farmers tell it doesn’t cease twitching its limbs 
until all the blood it’s sucked from goats and sheep, 
and sometimes from deer or calves wandered from 
their mothers lowing in the dark, puddles from its mouth
wide into a small pond. We must keep our children safe
inside and look for fearsome tracks, its rear feet like
a large dog’s, its front a child’s hands with claws.