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  • Jonestown
  • Chris Haven (bio)

I kept wondering if it was an accident if they didn’t know         what the     purple       held

I kept   wondering if the parents didn’t know what the children     were drinking

I kept wondering   why their tongues didn’t stop         the poison

I kept wondering   why the guy in the glasses made up a god     that hated children

I kept wondering     about the rows   the neatly stacked shirts and jeans     limbs and hair sometimes children         beneath

I kept   wondering how long they lay   awake how long until they     trickled away [End Page 9]

I   kept wondering   who the mixers who the servers     who the stirrers

I    kept  wondering   about  the  path how  many  steps  how   long  the  lines  how many  children  how  many   thought  they  were  waiting for  something  good  at  the  end

Ikeptwonderinghowthebodies     arrangedthemselvesdid   thechildrenliedown firsttobecoveredor   didtheyslip orweretheypulled

      under I if kept you wondering only if drank you half would the still cup die

I k e p t w o n d e r i n g w h a t t h e d u s t w o u l d h o l d

    I kept       wondering if God   was watching I kept wondering   was it accident     it was wondering       what was I         I was it

          I kept it [End Page 10]

Chris Haven

Chris Haven teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, where he edits Wake: Great Lakes Thought and Culture. “Jonestown” is part of a series of poems on the 1970s. Other poems in this series have appeared or are forthcoming in Fugue, Los Angeles Review, Northville Review, Linebreak, and Sugar House Review.



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pp. 9-10
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