the tamagotchi was   a key   chain sized
egg   shaped   computer   with screen   three buttons

the tamagotchis were   small aliens
like me   who   had   put down   an egg   on Earth

to see what life was like   the player had
to raise   the egg   to an adult   creature

age seven   I turn   on the toy   an egg
appears on screen   hatches   into   my pet

I care for it   like   no one cares   for me
filling up   hunger meter   filling up

happy   meter   by   feeding it   dinner
by playing   a digital game  with it

when   I couldn’t   stop becoming myself
I could   pause their development   I could

scold them   when   I couldn’t   scold school   bullies
when they felt sick   like I was made   to   I

could give them medicine   to make them   feel
better   if they died from neglect   I could

restart the game   baby   child   teenager
adulthood   do it   again   differently


James McDermott’s collection ‘Manatomy’ is published by Burning Eye. His poems have been published in Gay and Lesbian Review, The Cardiff Review and Dawntreader. James was shortlisted for Outspoken’s Poetry Prize 2020 and Commended in The Winchester Poetry Prize 2020. Twitter: @jamesliammcd

‘TAMAGOTCHI’ was in part inspired by the this Epic Web Studios article.