My hometown has suspicious
taste in communal art: there is

a rollercoaster by the river
—the one that flooded

its banks in 2010, which
no one remembers unless

you were there; unless
you felt water pouring

two days straight and worried
what would be left—and

I guess what I mean is
there are 2 tracks of red

steel tangled not like lovers
but like the arms of a robot,

or the kinds of minds
that see a body on their steps

as a threat, legislate
rights only to those

who look like them
and none else. It’s called

Ghost Ballet because that’s
the only kind of ballet

left in Nashville. It’s
called Ghost Ballet because

the afterlife funds the arts
more than Nashville.

It’s called Ghost Ballet
because I and you and we

can never return to where
we once were—always

ghosting our way through
the city, down Hermitage Ave.

toward Broad, and there it waits
on the far bank: a solo dancer

with the lights turned off,
a ballerina in an empty room.

Todd Osborne is a poet and educator originally from Nashville, TN. His poetry has previously appeared in EcoTheo Review, CutBank, Tar River Poetry, The Shore, and elsewhere. He is a poetry reader for Memorious and a feedback editor for Tinderbox Poetry Journal. He lives and writes in Hattiesburg, MS, with his wife and their two cats.