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You Felons on Trial in Courts


1YOU felons on trial in courts; You convicts in prison-cells—you sentenced assassins,  
 chain'd and hand-cuff'd with iron;
Who am I, too, that I am not on trial, or in prison? Me, ruthless and devilish as any, that my wrists are  
 not chain'd with iron, or my ankles with iron?
2You prostitutes flaunting over the trottoirs, or ob- 
 scene in your rooms,
Who am I, that I should call you more obscene than  
  [ begin page 337 ]ppp.00473.337.jpg 3O culpable! O traitor! I acknowledge—I exposé! (O admirers! praise not me! compliment not me! you  
 make me wince,
I see what you do not—I know what you do not;) Inside these breast-bones I lie smutch'd and choked; Beneath this face that appears so impassive, hell's  
 tides continually run;
Lusts and wickedness are acceptable to me; I walk with delinquents with passionate love; I feel I am of them—I belong to those convicts and  
 prostitutes myself,
And henceforth I will not deny them—for how can I  
 deny myself?
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