The unofficial version of the story:
He was stumbling home on Valium and unlaced Chucks
cutting through the old abandoned factory,
tripped, fell into the pond where they used to flush
their chemicals and dyes—floated, floated, sunk.
Willie’s obituary might as well have been blank
(we weren’t even 17) some junk
about still searching for his path. “Let’s give thanks
for the thousand tiny deaths he missed,”
said, mid-cigarette, the Cobain-quoting priest.
Early mornings, when the toxic pond-sludge drips
like honey down my throat, at my weakest
hour, it happens: Walking from dream to dream
I slip in and sink.
Willie, we weren’t even 17.