Claudia Ann Seaman Award
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA
Charles W. Flanagan High School
citrus sun butter pools in her clavicle— you lap it up like a stray dog and retch white-hot glorification. codependence tastes like banana bile and the pulverized backbones of limp-tongued girls like you. before your pulses begin to play the adagio of a funeral song, you want the soil to be a little holier—
enough so that when light and rain’s love child is hunched over the horizon and her earthen skin crumbles against yours, you can cough up cherry pits and “i love you”s without holy water scattering them into sin.
she props an arrow on her wine-sculpted cupid’s bow and aims for your head. you let her dusted freckles soften the terror raging in your tendons and grin. before they lower a body and her achilles’ heel deep into the lithosphere, you want to handpick run-on sentences from mango saplings and hoard them all for her until a full stop moon leans against your window and knocks hard—
enough so that you can’t hear her laughter and mistake her mouth for a hymnal; there are means of loving besides naming each of her molars after bible scriptures but she anoints you with her crude oil eyes and your cup starts to run over.
before your souls are confined to sunday’s obituaries, you want to be long-lasting—
“sun butter” is a visceral, dreamlike reflection on love, shedding traditional depictions of passion in favor of unique religious and ethereal imagery. Every sentence burns with intensity, simultaneously embracing and rejecting the holiness the poem is centered around, with devotion to the speaker’s lover eclipsing devotion to the divine—or, rather, fusing the two into a single concept. From its profound storytelling to its motifs of citrus, cherries, mangos, and other fruits, this piece will leave you (literally) hungry for more.
Hailing from South Florida, Shnayjaah Jeanty is a slam poet in her senior year of high school. She has been recognized by the National YoungArts Foundation, 1455 Literary Arts, Louder Than A Bomb, WordUp! and more. She is a National Student Poet Semifinalist Nominee and South Florida's 2022 Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador. Shnayjaah loves Red Bull and The Vampire Diaries.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR