You are the champagne
of oranges. In making a fruit plate
for lunch, once I sliced
through you it was apparent

that you were different from
your brethren, glistening a deeper
hue, seedless, your segments
cleanly separated from the rind,

hardly having any pith. Your origin
is said to have been as a mutation,
spontaneously evolving
from a Washington navel orange tree,

but however you have arrived
to make your presence known
in the world of fruit,
you have done so with style

and taste, which has been described
as blackberry, cherry, and rose—
enhancing the palate to dance
and inspiring me to add

you along the dish that I named
The Carmen Miranda, since
you made the apple, banana,
blueberry, and strawberry slices

aware that they had rhythm,
that they became a constellation
of fruit because of you,
and made me think of the fruit hat

Carmen Miranda was known
for wearing when she sambaed,
but it was your blended
complex taste that made us

say, Oh, I’ve never tasted
anything as good as that before,
which makes you so distinct,
so special, such a delight,

in our savoring your essence,
that you tempt us into
whispering the delectable syllables
of your name into our lover’s ears.


Wally Swist’s books include Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012). Recent poems and translations has appeared in Asymptote, Chicago Quarterly Review, Commonweal, The Comstock Review, New World Writing, and Poetry London. Shanti Arts published his translation of L’Allegria, Giuseppe Ungaretti’s first book, in 2023.