Diplomacy

A Viennese waltz is difficult in thousand-dollar heels
            I step into all-weather boots for the soft earth
But I smooth the gown that brushes the floor
            and cross the line that demarcates safety
And curtsy to the man in the suit and gold cuff links.
            Where can I go where I will not be seen?
He takes my gloved hand and leads me out
            To the house where our ally watches 
To the shining dance floor, an ode to our multicultural
            careful, controlled, ever aware
Understanding and the peaceful state the world
            that a mistake could mean death or worse
Has reached. He smiles, a flash of perfect white
            There are only two explosions en route
And we exchange the regular pleasantries, make small talk
            but this is war, and there is nowhere safe, especially
While waiting for this next dance to begin.
            for a woman, alone, American, leaving the Embassy,
The waltz is strong, structured, prescribed,
            and doing whatever she can to stop the destruction
But I know the step, who to look at, what to say,
            This is your glamor, in these dirt roads
And how to move the pieces. I can look
            and these dark houses and these
Innocent and naïve and easy to push around, but I can
            streets piled with garbage and the blood of the hated
Still play this game. So tell me about how our countries
            I have to fight this without
Will always be allies and mutually
            showing my hand or breaking
Interested and show me your dance
            character, so I slip on 
Technique refined by years of
            a costume and avert my eyes in
Diplomacy, and I will smile and nod my head in
            innocent inexperience.
 
I have moved another piece.
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