April wears a ragged gown washed by the rain and dried by cold wind. Small pieces of mirrored glass are woven into her garment, many
of them soiled by April´s fingerprints. When fancy strikes her, she shakes and twists her long-limbed body in a dance and catches fragments of her own
reflection in those tiny pieces of mirror. April is restless, in mind and body, constantly complaining that it is too cold to rest. Her hair is matted, knotted,
and in the knots are caught leaves, broken off branches and, sometimes, slowly melting crystals of snow. Alone among the months, she keeps no lovers,
but prefers to dance her mad and solitary madrigals, sometimes crying out in pleasure and sometimes in the deepest of sorrows. Her companions are crows,
their beaks still muddy from digging the thawing earth for worms. Her songs are half remembered hurts that she croaks into the mist and the rain and sometimes
they come not from her own throat but from those muddy beaks and often she can be seen gazing upward, wistfully watching the croaking birds and laughing madly
at their reported misfortunes.
November is neat and calm and smelling of old books, until you realize that you were not talking to him, but to his shadow. He is still and stoic when he needs to be.
He is a raging, hairy, angular, fast and deadly blur when he needs to be. When you want to remember him, the first thing that comes into your head are the snow crystals
clinging to his neatly trimmed beard. His lovers are all the souls that have died in his month and some of them are plaintive and sad and the words of the others often taste
like stale wine. They speak of barrenness and November always seems to listen, but his eyes turn translucent and faraway. He moves in a stately, elegant fashion and
you suspect that he is a good dancer, but he declines every inviation for a dance - very politely, but with a cruel smile. Looking out through the windows - for November´s hall is large and autummnly gaudy - you imagine that November is not the man with the immaculate manners that strolls vacantly amidst his guests, but that he is out there, stark naked branches raking the grey-blue sky, wood groaning in a song that seems more kin to him than the grandiose music played inside.
May is bosomy and kind. She hugs everyone she meets and her hug is pleasant. She seems to care. So much. She will ask you for your budding dreams and, if you admit to them, she will promise you that they will come true. Soon. Watching her closely, as she sways with corpulent and corporeal elegance, you get the impression that she is afraid of overwhelming others. That she could do more if only she were asked to. You are not entirely sure whether she wants to be asked or not, so you remain silent and tolerate or enjoy her attentions.
January is distraught, but whether it is the cold outside or the bleak stare that seems to come from deep inside his head, battering against the insides of his eyes, you will never know. January is efficient. There is no doubt about that. There is no doubt about anything in January´s presence, for what you must do, above everything else, is to survive. Treating with January is like a battle over life and death, although this is never clear until the conversations are over and you feel exhausted and happy to be alive. You do not exactly enjoy January - it would be dangerous to do so - but you feel no animosity towards him either; it seems unwise to dislike him - the battles/conversations might turn more ferocious in either case.
June has to be a girl, you are so sure. But then something not feminine but effeminate in her gestures startles you. She might be a slight man posing as a boyish girl. She flashes her smile at you and there is so much joy and warmth in it that you do not care - for a moment - the doubts creep back in as you watch her bony elegance. How can someone who contains such budding abundance be so thin, you wonder. Is her chore, jumpstarting the wheel of fertility, a male or a female task? She invites you to dance and, again, your desire tells you: June has to be a girl. She has to. You are so sure.
You almost do not notice him. Someone mentioned a river, or rather a little rivulet with pieces of ice floating in it and that made you think of February. You are certain you would not have noticed him otherwise. You danced with him once - or rather it seemed you were competing for some prize hidden in each others bodies, something birdlike to be coaxed from your throat and fingers and the tips of your hair. He is soft-spoken, very articulate but you cannot, for the life of you, remember what he just said. "Very interesting," you mutter, unconvincingly. The color grey makes you think of him, but you do not like looking at grey.
He is a jester and, of course, he is corpulent. He laughs over a glass of wine and his laughter makes the wine in his glass ripple. You have heard that he has had many beautiful lovers, but you have never seen him with one of them at his side. The girl with him is his daughter from some wife or another. She doesn´t seem to care too much about who her mother is and greedily devours the attention the bystanding ladies offer her. She is happy and plump, for August is never short of bystanders. It is the light in his hair, the women say, the leaves in his beard, the sun in his mouth and his thoughts are like wine. You have never felt charmed by him, but then again you are a bit afraid of stirring up his attention. It is like a mighty and glowing beast, you think. You are not quite sure about its benevolence and you would not bear the envy and enmity of the bystanding ladies.
October owns a vast library and you can see letters in his eyes. Sentences crawl from his ears and his tangled hair like centipedes. He is charming in an absent-minded kind of way. He always seems like he is about to lose something, some paper fluttering down from the pile of books and papers he carries about, and you are looking forward to stooping and picking it up for him, but he never loses anything. It is frustrating after a while.
A stately lady that seems plastered around desire, she makes you feel a kind of pain in your abdomen. There is loss about her, you can almost taste it, tasting like slightly overripe fruit and crisp leaves. Your mouth waters for lust of her. You cannot explain it, she never spares you a glance, but there is something in her disregard that seems studied to you and more pleasant and awful than the kindest of attentions. You are almost desperate to touch the marble that the hem of her skirt glided over. You look at the places where she has walked for hours until you almost burst with desperation. You rest your head on cold stone to sleep. You love her.
You have gone traveling with her before. She is the most generous of companions, generous with her thoughts and her body. You do not mind her going off with other men (usually travelers like yourself or people between jobs) and you are rarely surprised when she comes back to you. There are quarrells that go by like gusts of wind, there are sudden rainstorms of frustration, but neither of you takes them seriously. Your eyes are fixed somewhere else.
December tells you stories and they are the best thing in the world. You yearn for the stories the rest of the year round. They are like birds escaping from cages, like little animals scuttling through the leaves and your hair that rests amidst the leaves. There is a huge carpet in December´s room and a fire-place. You have never seen his face for his mouth is so captivating, those always-moving lips right in the middle of his greyish beard. At night you dream of wandering inside his mouth as if it were a cave and there you meet all his tales. Mighty tales, tiny tales. Tales of courage, tales of cowardice. His accent erodes your ears and makes your membranes hum. When he pauses in his tales - usually for dramatic effect - you fall down a deep dark hole.
July is capricious but she is fun. She teases you when you go to bed together. You would like to tease her back but haven´t yet found the words that are innocent enough.
You love her body like you love a foreign country or a hill near your home. She is both. Her mind is a riddle to you. She often makes remarks that you do not understand. You suspect she is more intelligent than you, except when you are angry, then you think she is horrid and cruel and stupid. It is difficult to say which one of you is more vulnerable and needs the other more. The good days with her are years spent in light and the bad days are puzzling descents into mazes of thought that worry your mind.