Diana Manesi

One letter

Dearest Cassandra,

      The first time we met the next night we spent it fucking. You fucked me so hard that I felt loved. I wanted to feel loved so much I was prepared to be a nymphomaniac spinster that wants constant attention. Running away from you meant running away from scary memories. I was sexually hurt. I didn’t have anything to do with myself. You pissed your inner guts on my breasts, coated my limbs and starred into my eyes until a feeling of vertigo took over, no more alleys, rooms, doors, corridors, just heights, stairs, elevators, letter birds. Everything was letter birds streaming out of your ass into the labyrinth and back. Still your inner self remains a mystery. This means that I cannot put your words and acts into language. I can only guess at your feelings. Guessing is not really knowing. I cannot hide my cheap intentions. I tried manipulating you, I wanted to extract your tears, pour them out, drink them and make my pain pretentious. I am listening near you, that voice of centuries ago.

      Language comes with joy. It should not be imposed, heaven help anyone who acts as if they want to write statements of absolute truth and glory. Last week I met with my academic publishers they said that I need to dissociate our voices, mine and yours, since it confuses the reader and makes the whole thing something vaguely passable. I hate mediocrity. I hate this truth that manifests itself as the fact that human life is just a negotiation with killjoys, and pain, of course pain, pretending to be in pain, being in pain, I still can’t get in terms with my pain. If it happens that you do not want any further contact with me for one or two months, days, years, I know human desire is erratic and things happen, I shall not stop writing you. What is writing? This is writing. This is it. When I write you my whole body is in control, every inch of me gasps in astonishment, your body comes on top of mine, is this how human is? What stays as a gentle reminder of your presence when you burst out of the room is your ability to make me miserable when you are kilometers away.

      So much I have reconstructed from the labyrinth of notes in painting your pale pink skin. In my spare-room your face flashed like the tail of a comet- three dots- across my trembling letters. Now it is pale pink distance and space, an expanding space in which I took flight as an arrow and the arrow seemed to cross the impossibly wide labyrinth, it seemed to arc on and on in space and not quite to stop. Despite all changes due to emotional swings, gut- spoken headlocks, all the times, you and I have been in different parts of the world, flung out of space, this writing is fuel for love. The pain I write I feel and the pain you write you feel, the pain of displacement, of exile, of separation, of a feminine woman that dies of exhaustion cause she can’t speak manly enough, it’s just the unfeeling tools to build our world. Wish me good luck in this delicate endeavor, it was more than enough for once to have had your arms and lips on me.


Diana Manesi began writing and recording diaries when she was 11. She stopped once she reached adulthood and went into academia. For many years she engaged with feminist theory, social anthropology, and cultural studies. As years went by she wrote various academic essays. Gradually her relation to language and words began to shift and she decided to revisit her diaries. In the last years, she began experimenting with poetic form and playful prose. In 2017, she published her first poetry collection in Greek, entitled “One and whole: One bite” by Queer Ink Publications. Recently she began writing in English and wishes to continue exploring the margins of language and its relation to the world. She currently resides in London where she teaches anthropology at Goldsmiths College and is about to complete her thesis. Whenever she can she travels, attends poetry workshops and loves making her own milkshakes.

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