february is a slow, aching month. mornings are lighter but it still feels like the air is resistant and sullen, like the bored, abandoned sister of december and the distant cousin of spring. she stands on street corners smoking cigarettes at six in the evening and smiles when it rains, blowing damp smoke rings into the darkness. i am in a very low mental place lately and i want to blame it on pressing skies and rain and cold and endless nights, but it feels more like something darker and deep rooted and restless. i feel heavy and cold and lonely and i spend most my evenings stood waiting at bus stops, unearthing dead weeds under my eyes only to find ten more sprouting in the morning. days drag but night flits past so quickly, like burnt shadows of sodden leaves still falling, like a lighter flicked on and off. this is the darkest time of year, when the final days of winter stretch teasing and unyielding; somewhere, february stands on her street corner and smokes cigarette after cigarette, laughing.