I grasp some strands of hair together sticking them into my mouth, moistening the tips into a fine tapered end. I dip this into a warm, sweet dark mixture, wiping the excess along the rim.

I study my intended canvas for a moment, looking for the right spot. There - winking up at me, a freckle. I lean down sweeping my brush with light deliberate strokes, point A to point B. A fine line is drawn along a changing background of creamy white to tawny to tan.

I submerge the locks again, paint some more, connecting the dots. The Big Dipper appears followed by Orion. The Scorpion reveals itself to me. The Water Bearer, Cassiopeia, Pegasus and more constellations on skin. Whole galaxies materialize before my eyes as I draw a stellar map.

You turn your head. There are stars in your eyes, a question on your lips. I gingerly trace the outline of your mouth. Then-

I reach out to taste the universe.