We are of the land here and under the watch of the cousin of the creature they fear in the city.  They forget their city Cucuy easily, thinking his influence weak away from civilization.

Looking up and to my right, I can see the country cousin clearly, a shade of black darker than the shadows and the sky.  He is tall and slender, vaguely ape-like, crouched among the tree’s branches.

His head dips a bit, acknowledging me with his bulging maroon eyes, the color of blood returning to the heart.  They are watering a little, wet with mucous in the corners.  His face is flat, save for a slightly pronounced snout and jaw that spreads slowly in a grin, revealing jagged, uneven teeth. Wolf teeth. Vampire bat teeth.

The Cucuy is a mishmash of creatures.  His face is at once human and lupine, his elongated ears poking up through matted black hair that spills from his head to his belly and down his muscular shoulders and back.

Hanging from that powerful upper back are leathery black wings.  They are the black wings of the summer wasps who built their paper homes under the barn’s eaves.  He is as hairy and dark as the coconut my ancestors likened him to:

Duérmete niño,
duérmete ya,
que viene el coco
y te comerá.

(“Sleep child,
sleep now,
el coco-he comes,
and he will eat you.”)

The Cucuy’s left ear is swollen and red.  It throbs against his head in time with his quickening pulse, dribbling opaque yellow wax.  He reaches down and grasps his stiffening penis, staring now at the rump of my cousin who, enraptured with the goats, has knelt and is bent over, her fingers entwined in the chain link fence.  The Cucuy is all of degenerate masculinity, but he is not choosy.

He takes pleasure in young boys, too.

Essay: Poquito a Poco: El Cucuy