My grandmother has burn scars over her entire back. Gently swirling pattern of begonias and other assorted floral-type things. She chose a dress on an August day in 1945 that she gets to wear until the day we bury her. She was miles away when the flash went up, but the doctor had to peel the charred fabric off with forceps and tweezers hours later. They'd never seen these kinds of burns before, where the actual pattern of the cloth transfered to the skin beneath.

Nowadays she wears long sleeved blouses and sweaters even in the height of summer, and my grandfather refuses to let her teach me the language. All I've got from that entire branch of the family tree is the tilt of my eyes and the scars on her back.