Tommy Pico’s Tattoos: A Tour

On Tommy’s left hand: Kumeyaay, his tribe near San Diego. This is his most recent tattoo, he got it with his brother on his most recent trip home.

Left forearm, a lightning symbol used in Kumeyaay basket design. It scabbed over and he picked at it like he didn’t know you weren’t supposed to, since it was his first, so now it has patchy areas. His brother has the same design on his calf. “Everyone always says tattoos don’t hurt, or you get used to it. Not true. When I’m getting a tattoo, the first pain and the last pain are exactly the same, the same absolutely quantifiable physical pain. Normally I have five hundred ideas crowding my mind at once, jamming the doorway, all trying to get out. When I’m under the needle, only one thought at a time can get through. It hurts, but it’s worth it. The focus is worth it.”…

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About the Author

Julie HartOriginally from Minnesota, Julie Hart has lived in London, Zurich, and Tokyo, and now in Brooklyn Heights. Her work can be found in Five Quarterly, Denim Skin, PANK magazine, The Rumpus and forthcoming in Floor Plan Journal.

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