When she gets in the shower, she opens her mouth and collects the beads of hot water that fall from above. Picturing herself as a hippo, she giggles as she rinses away the taste of wine then stands there as the water dances upon her oily face. When she pours shampoo into her hand and massages it through her hair, she removes the twigs and leaves collected from her nocturnal adventures the night before. Flicking them down the plughole, she combs straight her hair until it reaches to her breasts. Smells of oranges. Oranges and warm pastry and her grandparents’ house the way the sun would shine in during the summer holidays when she visited as a kid. That scent of sleepiness and comfort. The memory of it causes her to rub her belly, and when she looks down, she feels within her the stirring of future stars, and she thinks of how when she dies, her magic will live on. It will shoot into the forests and from it will bloom a sea of flowers, and when it reaches high into the sky, it will write her name from one side of the galaxy to the other, and even though she’s spent so much of her life being a stranger in her own skin, she knows there will be a day when her heart and soul exist on the same page, and the thought of such a thing is what keeps her from giving in. To become an orb, glowing among the branches of those trees, floating in the breeze like a future butterfly. Such thoughts make her smile, and as she washes the soap from her hair before taking a razor and shaving her legs, she sings her songs, and the music of those songs drifts from room to room before escaping through the open window in the living room. The cats outside prowling the streets, they hear the beauty of that voice, and together they stand with their paws raised to the sun seeing not the sun but the image of her smiling face, its rays not rays but the curls of her hair, dangling down to them like pieces of string. When she’s done shaving, she covers herself in more shampoo and sings and sings and sings until her belly begins to flutter. As it does so, she closes her eyes and feels more than a woman. She feels like a giant arm of stars in a spiral galaxy, forever travelling across the universe, and that the music she makes is echoing through all layers of time, and even though she’s so often confused, there are souls out there who will come to know of her beauty the same way they know of the constellations and the voice of God.