You Felons On Trial In Courts By Walt Whitman

You 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? 

You prostitutes flaunting over the trottoirs, or obscene in your rooms,
Who am I, that I should call you more obscene than myself? 

O culpable! 
I acknowledge, I expos�! 
(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?