D is for dragon and damsel, diamond and diadem. For deciduous woods, their dropping leaves. For dew and the dewclaws of deer. For deciduous teeth, delicate as dimes or decimals. For daughters and daughter cells. For Daedalus, who (although dexterous, deliberate, dagger-eyed) could not dam his son’s daring. For the dazzling daydream of sun on deep water. For how dizzy the drop. For daughter. D is for danger in daylight or damson dusk. D is for the deportation of other people’s daughters under drape of darkness. For Daphne and her despair. For becoming forest and for deforestation. For dales and dells full of delphiniums, for their deflowering. For disenchantment. For the way how daughters disappear and some are found and some are not. For desert, ditch, and dirt; for dogs and dental records. D is for detonation, damage, decibel. For Demeter and desolation and the way December daubs its dullness on the wall. For the way death comes to some doors dressed as a long-gone daughter. D for the dress you press yourself against.
G is for girl, for gosling, silly goose. See her gambol, guileless, from her gabled house. G is for gamble and gambit and game, for the way the girl’s galoshes are gilded with grime before she even reaches the gate. G could be any girl, but say it is Gretel. See Gretel glow like a goldfinch in the gloom. See Gretel out in the green gale, gathering graupel the size of grapes in her gorse-torn gabardine. G is for the glade gobbling her up, for going, going, gone. If G is for the galloping gelding, it is also for the glue. G is for gag, for Gretel gnawing through the grove’s gristle until it gapes and lets her go. G is for Gordian knots of golden hair, for the gap-toothed grimace. See Gretel’s gown glazed with glycerin, the gingerbread packed like grout beneath her nails. G is for grit and gritted teeth, for eyes glinting like gallium, for gravid with grief. G is for gene, for Gretel begetting a generation of girls who grow downward into the ground. G is the groundwater and the guts, the groan growing inside of us.