Under Christ

Austin Farber


From where we laid his nostrils were hovering disks above us.
Eyes eternally stoned toward the material sunset.
His white body as if walking on the ocean of the sky.
If we climbed to the top of that head,
She said, His and our view would be limited to a few square miles
Of hills and forest and racists,
But where we were he couldn’t see us:
His gaze locked like a pale pagan idol.
That left arm outstretched as a compass
Rose due East as if pointing to his rising sun.
His sacral body painted white:
The sign said the sculptor was American.
There she confessed to me
That her own father beat her
And her sister, and her mother
Was Christian and watched it all and once
Held her down during his violent inquisitions.
She has Cherokee blood and is Buddhist.
She believes in nonviolence.
The camper where her and her family dwell
Lies behind the Christ protecting the Ozarks:
Blind, but never deaf to this bruised, red blue
abuse. The sky above us was cloudless, clear
But her amber eyes wept.
We watched as black birds circled
The enforced father to mankind.
They all clumped together like during mass
Then spread out in separate lines.
And one by one they lined the savior’s arms,
A blessed few dared perch on His head.
A small branch fell into her lap and three
Red berries bounced on my head.
We both sat up, beside ourselves.
She looked right at me, my heart fell,
And right there below Jesus Christ
She kissed me like I’ve never been kissed.
All I know is after, she left that camper and the bible
Belt forever and is somewhere up in northern Oregon.
I saw her the day she left and as she drove off West
That small branch hung as a cross from her rearview.




Austin Farber is a writer and photographer from Rose Hill, Kansas. Austin is a Wichita State University alumnus where he studied English literature and writing. Austin’s writing and photography encompass different perspectives of people, time, and space. These poems embrace a multilayered combination of mysticism and duality, in an altered state of consciousness. Austin currently resides in Utah.