Tomato poems! In honor of the last day of summer (Guillermo Saavedra).

On the Tomato

Brief Vaudevillian Hypotheses Apropos of This Androgynous Fruit



Behold the hero of the vegetable patch

a modest American marvel

with the face of a Chinese lantern.


Sheer light made of water:

a fleeting heart, pumping

muted cries of jubilation.


Her fancy dress, her festive

fantasy of red confirms a doubt:

she’s a lady tossed in the salad by mistake.


A tomato rots: here lies

a misfortune greater

than the fall of an empire.


Voluptuous little flag:

he makes every dry spell



To sink one’s finger into

its soft flesh: a crime or copulation

as vague as your idea of bliss.


A tomato crosses the river

on a moonless night:

becomes a plum.


(Mark Twain)

A salad can be an anthem to joy

but the proof

is in the tomato.


To bite into a tomato thinking

of nothing: so the peak

of summer will burst in your mouth.


Columbus’s was egg

and prophecy: America

is a tomato under sail.


A tomato was raised

by two elderly lemons:

now it’s a sweet tangerine.


And yet, there is no more

voracious love than that of salt

searching for it on the plate.


The taste of tomato

remembered: the damp

face of a barefoot child.



translated from the Spanish by Cindy Schuster

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