'Rosebuds' & 'A Lonely Wizard's Enchanted Lighter': Two Poems by Tianna G. Hansen

(TW: sexual abuse of a minor)


you were always teacher's pet

((asked you to stay after class))

didn't have anyone to go home to

nobody to eat lunch with or pass

crinkled paper notes, whispers

between the aisles and clasped

hands in the hallways... only

girl you considered friend didn’t

want anything to do with you,

((after the midnight escapade))

taken into her room covered in

smoke & guilt lingering, stuck to

your hair and flimsy nightgown.

no family, no friends — outcast

((yet he saw great things in you))

told you how beautiful your eyes

shone, how silky your hair between

fingers. you did not know how to

tell him you didn’t like it, ((any of it.))

He was the only one who saw you

the only one who felt your worth.

you grew to like it, accept it.

anticipate his fingers locked in

strands of hair, tugging until your

eyes well with tears. Ignore this

screaming pain, become a puppet.

((strings are his to tug)), move as he

pleases. contort into any shape.

wear ribbons in your hair to

catch his eyes, capture notice.

short skirts and long thighs

as you grow, budding breasts

rosebuds peek through cloth

innocence once wrapped you

in a shroud, now stripped away

((naked babe, cold & shivering))

you’ll give him anything he pleases.

the cost to see him smile, down on

knees like in prayer, head bowed.

chastity wasn’t something you could

afford. Never an option for those

who adored you, ((took everything))

all that’s left to call your own

is dance. Ballet becomes solace;

((always someone you aim to please.))



Moments of weakness where you can feel

his presence no longer as strong, when the wizard

does not hold you away from harm; his grip

slackens and you can be free, exploration is yours.

Escape the wizard's captive spell to lurk

unnoticed through his home, peering between

cracked doorways, climbing winding staircases

in this castle of mazes. One room, pristine, the

heart of it all, his nesting grounds - bedroom

with arching fourpost and feathered pillows

tempts you to burrow in and rest among

the privacy of a wizardly soul, his hearth glows,

fireplace lit with mystic flames, heat reaches

like prying fingers, stringing you further inside.

There – on the bedside, glistening oyster pearl

keepsake, polished silver plate glinting —

how one small item can soon ignite aflame

burning blaze like the wooden phoenix, head

lifted high into blackened sky, ash flakes like snow

the lighter invigorates in you that old feeling,

smothered desires to become the flaming bird,

to lift yourself into an endless night. To burn.

his lighter gleams a winking eye, chanting in veins

a throb of deep craving devotion, fingers itch

to clutch inside your palm. swirling snakes


forked tongues flicker to taste, absorb and

dominate your flowering aroma. a tiny budding rose

constricted among starlit scales; petals weeping.

woman's face engraved on smooth surface

nose buried in rose's delicate embrace, snakes

become flowing hair, wrapped around svelte neck

when you grasp it, the metal burns. thrums

the rhythm of your heart echoes inside.

this lighter is your destiny, beckoning. You know

what you must do. You know what you must burn.

Take what isn't yours and hide away in warmth,

splay spider limbs across an ocean of blankets

imagine the wizard here, looming atop your nudity

spread legs to reveal sacred space, slip inside

this found keepsake, private delicacy

like wizard's thick finger, open wide this

cavern of skin spread over sting of metal —

becomes part of you; he will never know.

the wizard will never discover

this buried treasure.

He will never recognize these deep desires

or attempt to seek what you have found.

Ecstasy hot and sharp flickers like the snakes

licking your insides. You are one with the flame

how you've always dreamed to be.


Tianna G. Hansen has been writing her whole life, specializing in poetry and creative nonfiction with a sprinkling of fiction mixed in. You can find her published work on CreativeTianna.com or check her out on Twitter @tiannag92. She founded Rhythm & Bones Press in June 2018 and continues to work for progressing the idea of turning trauma into art, which is what much of her work focuses around. Find them at RhythmNBone.com or on Twitter @RhythmBonesLit

Both poems are part of a poetic opera collaboration called 'A Victorian Dollhousing Ceremony' between Tianna G. Hansen, Justin Karcher, and Kristin Garth. They each take on the role of one character – the Firebird, the Doll, and the Wizard. These poems are from the point of view of the Firebird.

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