A Morning In Tampa

Samuel Louis Spencer

Even at 7:30 in the morning, my apartment’s air conditioning system is working hard to keep my domicile at a blissful 72°F. I roll out of bed, cool as the cucumber in my bottom fridge drawer, surely gathering mold and turning that little box into an ecosystem of unused, uncatalogued vegetables. Outside, the morning is not so blissful; in fact, the songbirds have already stopped their singing—huffing, and puffing in the morning’s harsh Floridian humidity, and I give way into the day to teach tennis to a cute old woman. By the end of the hour, I am drenched in my own secretions, my body’s way of telling me: “GO BACK INSIDE!” I do go back inside, just in time to get a shower, eat, and begin working on other such passions. Clouds gather overhead, like an ant colony that heard rumors of crumbs. No sooner do they gather, do they darken, aroused by the warm, sticky morning that I have just escaped from. The dark clouds thicken, like packed snow; and like me, after weeks of bottling up my emotions, the rains come forth, uncontrollably, and heavy. Thunder and lightning flash, and crack like a whip, and I sit at the table, admiring the unfolding of the midday sky. It is comforting, despite the airborne violence and the booms of the adolescent clouds. It is a kind of rest from the blistering morning, a release from what is, and what is yet to come.

Samuel Louis Spencer is a Tampa-based poet and journalist. When he isn’t sweating due to the heat, he is planning snowboarding trips for the winter.