YOU felons on trial in courts;
You convicts in prison-cellsyou sentenced assassins, chaind and
Who am I, too, that I am not on trial, or in prison?
Me, ruthless and devilish as any, that my wrists are not chaind with iron, or my
You prostitutes flaunting over the trottoirs, or obscene in your rooms,
Who am I, that I should call you more obscene than myself?
I acknowledgeI exposé!
(O admirers! praise not me! compliment not me! you make me wince,
I see what you do notI know what you do not.)
Inside these breast-bones I lie smutchd and choked;
Beneath this face that appears so impassive, hells tides continually run;
Lusts and wickedness are acceptable to me;
I walk with delinquents with passionate love;
I feel I am of themI belong to those convicts and prostitutes myself,
And henceforth I will not deny themfor how can I deny myself?