Owen's trying to make us feel like we're actually with him on the battlefield as the gas shells are dropping. There's a bit of confusion in all the smoke and haze and chaos and destruction, but the poem itself remains remarkably clear. We're with him as his friend's face melts in front of him. We're even with him when that face dances beside his bedside at night. It might not be a pretty picture, but it's a pretty easy one to get. We're guessing that's because he doesn't want anyone to miss his point: war is hell.