The third time your partner hit you your grandmother
ran you a hot bath, lavender. Rubbed
bath salts on the broken skin of your wound
with wrinkled hands, her veins blue snakes
coiling under the skin.
Your grandmother drank black tea from a porcelain
mug with a chip bitten into the curve of the handle.
The first thing your grandfather ever gave to me.
She holds the rough of her palm to her heart
when she talks about him.
You tell your grandmother you want to run away.
When she holds up the cotton of her night-top.
Runs a hand across the burn scar that blooms
across her stomach, all purple-yellow, all red-pink.
We all suffer under the hand of those we love.
The next morning you leave for Venice, or Toulouse
or Rome. A woman with flames
clawing at her stomach burns
behind your eyes.