How the Garden Fills the Cracks

My two brothers and I share a cargo van floor
with rows of tomato plants in plastic trays. Outside

Albuquerque hazes by in sandy buildings. Sunlight
pounds at the vehicle’s steel belly, windows

sealed shut so the only air crawls from the front.
Breathe shallowly, watch baby leaves, green

as aphids, shiver with each bump. Think of how
my father stokes each stalk, carries them from balcony

to couch to the hospital on his night shifts. Then
the sudden thunk vibrates through the van as small

heads bang together. He curses, jerks the wheel
to swerve past the bus we have just hit. When

he twists around, demands to see his plants, I
stare at my hands—wet, black with soil.