On Future Rhyming “Fuck You” with “Fuck You” Four Times in a Row During “Rent Money”

  I want you to hear this and be like, “Man, he gave us all of him. He let everything out.”
  —Future

There’s more church in a one-note drone on my collaborator’s organ-
simulation software than I’ve seen the inside of this year. Origin


stories bore me to tears, but let’s say fuck it & start back in the barrio:
Summers I’d shoot hoops in a fútbol-only barrio,


have languid lonely shootarounds at caged-in Constitution Beach,
rapping along to my boombox, going silent on every motherfucker or bitch


for fear of retribution. God was still listening then. I stayed close to sunstroke,
shooting endless threes, my release point smoothed to butter. Never had a sweeter
    stroke


& no one around to see it. Well, there was the occasional five-on-five
among full-grown men, but my jump shots all got swatted. Wasn’t even five


feet tall then, weighed less than a sweat-soaked towel thrown over a park bench.
What I loved, way more than full-court—with its trash talk, thrown elbows,
    constant bench-


riding, & Beckett-lengths of waiting to sub in—& even more than solitude, were
    shootarounds
in tandem, trio, quartet. Once a young Matheus came around,


a Matheus I’d never met, would never see again. Brazilian, lanky, braids
hanging past his neck, I remember watching him leap to grab the long, white,
    braided


x-stitch of the net (it glowed pristine, as if City Parks, at dawn, had changed it);
    I rem-
ember him pulling & pulling until it ripped from the rim


& how he seemed to do it for no reason.
Everything, then, happened for a reason.


The rhythm of dribble/brick/pavement/rim paced
the conversation—between the ball’s bright pings or over a no-look pass


we’d say our piece. Matheus dished a rumor about a Boston
Latin soccer star, why he retired aged sixteen: “Bro, he busted


inside his girl without a condiment. Now he’s got a sex disease.
Just as likely: the dizzy


spells of a surprise first trimester, the high school winger quitting, picking up
    full-time
shifts at a Revere Beach roast beef stand. Or maybe just running. Time


is money, Heidegger, I believe, wrote. Your baby mama fucks me better when the
    rent’s due,
Future rapped, & do I believe them dudes?


Truth be told, I slipped a hundred & two fifties into a single mother’s hand-
bag at age twenty-one, told her “Baby, get your braids done.” She just handed


back the cash, closed my fist, & patting it whispered, “Keep it, boy. Your rent’s
    due.”
The fantasy & its own undoing:


that silver might drip from a neck bitten or a back clawed hard enough. For just
    one faux-sure
sentence, let me envision what happened to varsity winger & wifey, fucking away
    one future


as they improvised another; let me envision the fruit of their improvisation full-
grown now, throwing elbows in a full-


court game of beachfront five-on-five, banging on the worn-paint asphalt. The
    same court
where I once shot jumpers with switchblade-thin Marselly & her older cousin
    Courtney,


both shrink-wrapped in Brazilian jeans, their gold hoop earrings untouchable &
    distant
as the rim. A drizzling Monday, seagulls in the distance,


the matching cousins’ snapping gum, their mierdas every time they missed.
They asked me why I didn’t swear, & in what today I might consider a misstep,
    some mystic


shit, or simply a “missed shot,” I told them I’d made a contract with God.
Nowadays, I can’t get through a prayer without a few fucks for emphasis, just ask
    God.


Nowadays, I’m convinced any word that keeps repeating
& repeating is a prayer. Like when Future finds an end-line fuck you & repeats it


till it’s mantra.
                            So, broken courtside boombox, go on whispering through your
            landfill yes yes y’all & you don’t stop.
& Future, autotuned, on cough syrup, on loop, rhyming fuck you with fuck you till
    eternity: don’t stop.


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