• Marías at Sampaguitas

2 Poems by Janelle Salanga

Updated: Apr 2, 2019


home run

the giants’ opening day

garlic fries on april eve

at&t park looming

smell of sea & seagulls &

relentless churning excitement 

choppy waves of 

orange and black streaming into green 

familiar pitchers frozen in bronze

safeguard the stadium

stopped permanently for pictures

announcers sweeping their voices

across the bay of people 


this is what it means to be giant

i think

leaning over the railing,

knbr 680 in a little black box in one hand,

dodger blue 

(i apologize every time,

that was the only color my dad’s 

catalog had 

& everything in it was free)

binoculars in the other


and i stare at ant-men 

deceivingly shorter than me

cheer at the crack of the bat,

the ebullient chants of the crowd

yelling 

let’s 

go

giants,

let’s 

go –

taste of tallness when they hit a 

high fly ball

over left field

going back & 

back


&

(he looks up, sees only blue)


gone 


& now


they’ve faded into something liminal,

post-championship but pre-failure,


stolen the name of future-tellers.


i wonder if they can tell a new mythology now.

lean over the railing,

inhale,

welcome

oracle park.



“in time your love life will be the subject of stories”

the first time,

everyone warns you about regret.

quotes statistics about failed

romances,

inversely proportional relationship

between adolescence and

believing in love.


i can’t say i believe

in a god

but love

is the closest i get –

but love looks like a belief

that hope, more than apathy,

remains the boldest rebellion

we ever stage


and the first time,

that hope starts with

falling in love.


(& when i say fall i mean)

pumpkin patches, jason derulo’s “it girl”,

funnel cakes, haunted houses &

first cuffing season

that i sat, hands clasped tightly

in the back of his mom’s car

fingers curling around each other

reminding myself

not all ten were mine.


my parents still tease me about him,

my first almost. first definitely gay. first

person my eyes

latched onto

& didn’t fall from,

because he held on, too.


first i love you,

whispered in

snatched phone calls

wedged between my sister’s naps


and mom’s awakeness

& they still make fun of that,

but. but it was something,

some little war against

going gently into the day

without tenderness.


(i’d like to think

those i love you’s reverbrate through the universe

that at any point in time

we are suffused with love

from someone else’s chronology)




Janelle Salanga is a self-professed Gryffindor and an ardent advocate of used bookstores. She is a current sophomore at the University of California, Davis, she is majoring in science & technology studies while minoring in political science and communication. When she's not coding or binge-watching Michael Schur shows, she writes for UC Davis Magazine as an editorial intern and is currently directing a vignette for Pilipinx Cultural Night. Her work has been published in The Margins, Occulum, and The Brown Orient, among other places. You can find her (re)tweeting assorted oddities @janelle_cpp. She is a regular contributor to Marías at Sampaguitas.

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