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Familiarity by Roxanne Lim


I. déjà vécu

I have already experienced this

Fuck an NYC hustle and grind

But also?

Thank God I’m from here.

Lessons learned on a 45-minute commute turned 2 hours

When you arrive, you arrive

Nothing wrong with having expectations

But also?

No point in being disappointed

II. déjà senti

I have already felt this

Facebook message from grandma:

I wish nga na dito ka na magstay habang lockdown kayo.


I know. I promise I will visit when things get better.


I am always with you.

III. déjà visité

I know this place I have never visited before

Between Astoria Ditmars and Wadsworth Avenue

Raley Creek to Goldenrod

Is the throughline

Inked on my left arm

“Bind My Wandering Heart to Thee”

My new therapist and my previous one would both agree

that I am too hard on myself

Barbara Jane Reyes wrote that “You do not get lost on an island”

To which I would probably reply, “Watch me.”


Roxanne Lim (she/her), also known as "REAL" or "Renaissance Roxy," is a third-generation Filipina-American from New York City. She is a filmmaker, poet, storyteller, and artist. Her work strives to empower and uplift marginalized communities, specifically through the arts. She is the host of Suplada Pod (a podcast centered on the intersection of Filipinx culture and pop culture),  and co-director of a visual poem series called GLIMPSES.

You can follow Roxanne on Twitter and IG @renaissanceroxy.

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