An excerpt: The words to every song on earth are buried deep somewhere. Songs that must be sung, that must never be sung. That must be released from deep within the chest yet pulled back and held. Plaintive and low, they rail; buried forever beneath the passing flesh, alone and cold, they scream. The singer must clutch them to the heart, where they are sanctified, nurtured, healed. Songs which finally must be released yet recalled, in that place where no one except the singer ever comes, in one hand caressing the keys of life wounded, ravaged, in the other those of the precious skin and life revealed. The three of them and Cassandra know the words. Lying beneath them now and blind, she knows the words. Tasting turpentine and fire, she knows the words. -- Hell no, yo, that bitch ain't dead.-- A voice. -- Fucked up, yo. The rag's in her mouth, how we gone get some mouth action now?-- -- Aw, man, fuck that shit.-- Who says that? -- My turn. My turn.-- They know the words. Night. Hell, no, broods the dim, that bitch ain't dead. Hasn't uttered half a sound since they began; hasn't opened her eyes to let the night look in again; hasn't breathed to the soft beating of the nightbird's wing. The turpentine rag in place. Cassandra, Cassandra. The rag, in place. Cassandra. Is she feeling something now? Cassandra. Will they do anything more to her now? Cassandra, will they leave you there? Focusing on flies, not meeting each other's eyes, will they leave you there? Running back from the burning forests behind their own eyes, the crackling and the shame? Will they leave you there? -- Push that bitch out on the ground, the one they call Dee says. -- Over there, by them cars and shit.-- Rusty cars, a dumping ground. So, Cassandra. Yes. They'll leave you there. Were they afraid? Happy? Who can tell? Three dark boys, three men, driving away in a battered car. Three boy-men, unseen, flesh, minds, heart. Flame. In their car. "Thomas Glave walks the path of such greats in American literature as Richard Wright and James Baldwin while forging new ground of his own. His voice is strong and his technique dazzling as he cuts to the bone of what it means to be black in America, white in America, gay in America, and human in the world at large. These stories span the globe of the human experience and the human heart. They are brutal in some places, tender in others, but always honestly told. A true talent of the 21st century." - Gloria Naylor Author Thomas Glave is known for his stylistic brio and courageous explorations into the heavily mined territories of race and sexuality. This searing collection of stories is a stunning debut of a writer the Village Voice has named "One to Watch." "Thomas Glave has the strong talent and courage to take up the right to enter the inner seves of both black and white characters in his stories. This is a creative claim beyond 'authenticity' determined by skin color. He also hasa that essential writer's ear for the way different people speak within their cultures, and wha their idiom gives away of their inhibitions and affirmations." - Nadine Gordimer Thomas Glave is the author of Whose Song? and Other Stories, the essay collection Words to Our Now: Imagination and Dissent (winner of a 2005 Lambda Literary Award), and is editor of the anthology Our Caribbean: A Gathering of Lesbian and Gay Writing from the Antilles (winner of a 2008 Lambda Literary Award).