Chucking Rocks at a Radiance of Cardinals

By Abram Valdez

I read somewhere that cardinals, the birds and not the clergy or the baseball team, are supposed to be reminders of loved ones passed—loved ones visiting you from some place outside of your current life (heaven, the afterlife, the other side, or some such place where they are without you)—but I’d just as soon the bird flu or bird COVID wipe them off the face of the Earth like dodos if it meant I could have breakfast with my dad again or make Omar laugh one more time until he peed himself: goddamned birds; go find a skyscraper to fly into, go eat birdshot, go choke on your crackers, Polly because I don’t need cardinal memorials, “on-this-day” notifications, or recollection alerts; I don’t want a reminder about who I’m missing, and they don’t have a word to describe a gathering of birds that represents forgetting a loss: they don’t have anything for that.



Abram Valdez, hailing from Denton County, Texas, is a lapsed poet, working by day as an instructional designer and full-time dad; however, he’s currently plying his trade in flash fiction 1,000 words at a time, but even that feels like too much to share, most times.


Art by Teagan & Talia Valdez, the author's daughters.