I Love Pablo Neruda

Ode to the Tomato

The street
filled with tomatoes,
midday,
summer,
the light
splits
in two
halves
of tomato,
the juice
runs through the streets.
In June
the tomato
cuts loose,
invades
the kitchen,
takes over lunches,
sits down
comfortably
on sideboards,
among the glasses,
the butter dishes,
the blue saltshakers.
It has
its own light,
a benign majesty.
Unfortunately, we have to
assassinate it:
the knife
plunges
into its living flesh,
it is a red
viscera
a cool,
deep,
inexhaustible
sun
fills the salads
of Chile,
is cheerfully married
to the clear onion,
and to celebrate,
oil
lets itself
fall,
son and essence
of the olive tree,
onto the half-open hemispheres,
pepper
adds
its fragrance,
salt, its magnetism:
it is the day’s wedding,
parsley
raises
little flags,
potatoes
vigorously boil,
with its aroma
the steak
pounds
on the door,
it’s time!
let’s go!
and on
the table,in the belt
of summer,
the tomato,
luminary of earth,
repeated
and fertile
star,
shows us
its convolutions,
its canals,
the illustrious plenitude
and the abundance
without pit,
without husk,
without scales or thorns,
the gift
of its fiery color
and the totality of its coolness.
– Pablo Neruda

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