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By Sam Yau

You don’t know me,

but I’ve known you for eons.

I follow you, life after life,

to awaken the artist in you.

I am the part of you

that is moonstruck by romance,

awed by the sunset’s glory,

beguiled by the beauty of a poem,

entranced by African drumming.

I was never born.

I will never die.

Until the day

you stare down death’s eyes,

become fearless,

you can’t know me

and live your art.

It is I who

swirls in dervishes,

stomps in flamenco,

improvises in jazz.

I am the primal sensual,

your carnal pleasure.

I am the titillating passionate,

your happiness.

Intellect relinquishes its grip

when I step onstage,

your body under my spell,

you and your art become one.

Awestruck and breathless,

time pauses,

all else vanishes.

What remains—

the eternal moment of joy

you long to return to

again and again.

I am your Duende,

your soul.

Painting by Olena Zavakevych


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