Sixteen-Year-Old Unmade Bed Sells for $4.3 Million Dollars

in Culture by

You can’t unsee this:
panties, crotch-up, copper
ring of menstrual blood,

morning-after bubble-pack,
ashtray full of butts,
half-empty vodka bottle,

and the remnants of a condom,
like a hoop a tiny tiger
might have leapt through.

She says, “I don’t have
periods anymore.” Holds up
a slender belt and laughs. “This

used to fit me.” And yet
how thrilling: someone
almost died for love

on that dimpled sweaty bed;
someone cried out,
dumbfounded with pain; someone

paid four million dollars
for that kind of glamor,
that awful joy: the killing desire.


Erica Goss served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA from 2013-2016. She is the author of Night Court, winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award, Wild Place and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets. Recent work appears in Lake Effect, Atticus Review, Contrary, Convergence, Spillway, Cider Press Review, Eclectica, The Tishman Review, Tinderbox, The Red Wheelbarrow, and Main Street Rag, among others. She is editor of Sticks & Stones, a bi-monthly poetry newsletter.

Image of “My Bed” by Tracey Emin