I know Neruda wrote an ode
to one. There is no reason to look,
which would surely be discouraging.
And it does take courage,
this poetry game, to put words
to what everyone else knows
as well or better — love,
grief, regret, beauty, tomatoes
warm and fresh off the vine.
All I can say is
they smell green on my fingertips
and they taste orangey-red,
acid and sweet, sun-warmed
and sliced, topped with olive oil
and basil, or salt and pepper.
A poet can be skilled
with his knife and usual spices
but will never make anything so true
as the smells and tastes of tomatoes.