Agony and Ecstasy

Pleasure and pain
activate the same circuits
in the brain.
Three letters
and two experiences
separate passion from pain,
but the expression is the same.

The twisted grimace
that signals an exquisite feeling,
the thrill of pleasure
the agony of pain,
both happen in the brain.
Facial muscles frown
vocal chords moan.
Both experiences groan.

Le petit mort.
The heaving gasps of orgasm,
the same sobs for pain.
A strangled cry
to signal which feeling?
Neighbours on a brain map?  Perhaps.
The odd couple—sadist and masochist.
The symbiotic thrill
of their partnership.
Tortured to ecstasy!