Security Considerations

I am trying to lift the lid,
logically, the lid
on my private crate.
It isn’t a coffin by any means,
it is just a package, a cabin, or,
in a word, a crate.

You know what I mean
when I say
crate, come on,
don’t play the fool,
all I mean
is an average crate,
just as dark as your own.

Of course I want to get out,
and therefore I knock,
I hammer against the lid,
I call out
More light, I gasp,
logically, pounding away at the hatch.

So far so good. Unfortunately,
for security reasons,
my crate does not open,
my shoe box has a lid,
a rather heavy one to be sure,
for security reasons,
since we are dealing here
with a container, an Ark
of the Covenant, a safe.
There is no way out.

For our liberation, joint action
would, logically, be needed.
But for security reasons
I am all alone in my crate,
in my very own crate.

To every man his due! And hence,
for me to escape, by joint action,
from my own crate, logically
I would have to be out of it
to start with, and this condition obtains,
logically, for all of us.

Thus I break my very own back
against the lid. Now!
A chink, a narrow gap! Ah!
Marvelous! The open country
outside, covered with tins,
containers, or just plain crates,
in the background, the high-rolling waves
ploughed by seaworthy trunks,
teh enourmously distant clouds above,
and lots and lots of fresh air!

Let me out, I proceed to cry,
feebly, with my tongue coated, against
my better judgement, covered with sweat.
To make the sign of the cross: imopossible,
To beckon: no, I am short of hands,
To clench the fist: out of the question.

And hence I cry: I express
my regrets, woe to me,
my very own regrets,
while with a hollow plop
the lid, for security reasons,
comes down again
over my head.

From The Sinking of the Titanic, Hans Magnus Enzensberger