Ressentiment et rancoeur: 
A Proposal

Resentment. Say it.

Perhaps it seethes on shelves 
of memory or grovels around 
the basement, nearly inflaming 
the other rooms in the house.

Perhaps it’s the plaque 
that chokes the blood, 
or the residual pox burning 
into shingles, or the small, 
vile tumor discovered 
on the back of your leg.

Resentment brings to mind 
a mean and devilish curdling 
of emotions, tight-lipped, 
sometimes flesh-eating. 
May be undiagnosed

for years, an internal acne 
that threads the nerves, 
irrupting as suddenly 
as a pustule of the Black 
Death. You’d better say 

Rancoeur, ressentiment. 
More palatable en français, 
n’est-ce pas? Rancor
Can you see or hear 
the heart there? No.

Say rancoeur.