on Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a passionate fruit often recklessly grouped in with vegetables since they're not very comfortable in a smoothie or a fruit salad. Unless that smoothie is actually ketchup. Here's a touching and emotional poem:

Oh it really goes back to those young careless days
Of getting our money's worth at the buffets
And eating them whole dipped in warm mayonnaise

Sit down with me now and enjoy one of these
A taste on your tongue like the cool summer breeze
And that dribble of juice from your chin to your knees

Acidic and sweet and bursting the skin
A delicious red universe swirling within
Unknowable things that never have been

And never will be if you don't try to find
That enlightenment of a whole different kind
Enigmas revealed by the food to the blind

And yet though your eyes may have been peeled
A great many things still were concealed
And by prudent eating could be revealed

So have one or ten or the whole stinkin' farm
Consume them in excess without any harm
In fact aversion to these is a cause for alarm

Munch, munch on tomatoes now with some zeal
And know they can be a whole healthy meal
The wonders within just contained by the peel


Who has truly entered into the wonders of the tomato fruit? Who has solved its riddles? Answered its questions? Embarked on its quests, checked its voicemail, refilled its salt and pepper shakers, seen into its future happenings, taken its bridges and supply lines, attended its debuts, counted the grains on its sandy shores, instructed on shoe tying, stalked though the alleys, invested unwisely, kissed with regrets, or gotten hopelessly lost in the crimson vast yonder of the tomato's endless bloody innards?

Start simple. One tomato. Maybe half of one. A half of a half. Sprinkle something on it or dip it in mayo. The world is now yours to explore as you pass it by your lips. Teeth make quick work of it and down a fleshy tube to your stomach, like a mangled ocean liner sliding into and through a too-tight canal towards its final resting place. It will never leave your body. Your body will never leave it, either. Magical juices that today's scientists have yet to categorize will break it down in your gut pouch and bind it with you; forever and eternally and always, longer than you both shall live, on into perpetuity and back again, long past the lives of men and mankind and everything we know, while all things crumble down and crash in upon themselves and swirl around in that great cosmic mixing bowl in what might as well be one endless instant in time. There, when everything is redone, rebuilt, rearranged, some days and eons hence, and many countless eons more, there you'll be. Somewhere. The tomato and you.


You've bitten off more than you could ever hope to chew.