Pain Face
by Shane Neilson

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Pain Face

Rigid, stoic, mask: broken bone face,
gunshot face, son dead face.

Look, the face: see your rictus
fortune in icterus, the yellow glow

on a one to ten scale. Consider the Pain Face:
love on your lip, love sliding sideways

to make a silly face of pre- and post.
Profess systems of belief, of research:

corollary, corollary, sing. Agreeably sing
of pain as shadow cast by this edifice:

the love face.

Pain’s place is pictorial, a hundred thousand
atlases of your face: tear-stained, unfathomed

by intense algorithms of validated claims.
See the pain face. Underneath it is no face.

From CNQ 92 (Spring 2015)

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