Wash Spin Repeat – The eMotion Machine

By Lamisha Duree

Illustration shows a wash machine dial, with a center circular button, showing the cycles of the wash as dance movements that are connected with emotions.

Illustration by Bruna Borges
[ID: Illustration shows a wash machine dial with a center circular button and various wash cycles, each with a small drawing of one or two people dancing. Clockwise from the top, the text indicating the different cycles reads: “On/Off. Brights. Quick Wash. Easy Care. Spin + Drain. Delicate. Heavy. Power Wash.”]


Heavy Duty

Heart severely stained the day my dad left behind his human shell

A muddy mess of ruin and denial

Unable to grasp the emptiness stinging me to a low hummmmm

Bone aching waves in this whirlpool of breath snatching sorrows

Tumbling from one memory to the next

The emotions ricochet

Soggy and heavy when I think it’s over

The flood is back before my lungs can get air

Rinsed and twisted with a ear splitting feral cry erupting from a place I don’t know

And when it’s done I’m not soggy but still definitely heavy

The pure scent of smiles and laughter diverge

Examining each wrung out piece of me when my heart contracts

Missed a spot

Start cycle again


Quick Wash

The feelin’ of warm light signals my eyes to open

I’m not down bad but I ain’t fresh either

i need to shake things up for a quick reset

Slow hustle to the bathroom

Slow hustle to my damn room

Hell I deserve a joint for a treat


The music trembles through me I’m moving all of me

My hands wave in the air

I’m whipping my hair

I’m tryna see if I got stallion knees!


Hand Wash/Delicates

Oh, Mommy!

Worn out wouldn’t accurately express all this mess

Milk soaked shirts and jammies covered in poop

Food spills as I hurry to eat before those precious cries tell me my time is up

On the tenth day I cried.

Thought it was all under control

The help that’d been promised was hard to find.

So it proved true, the responsibility would be all mine.

I’ve always wanted to be a mom

I had no idea it would beat me through my transition

Giving so much of me that it feels I’d need forever until I noticed me

And when I get that break I’ve been dreaming of I spend it looking at pictures and videos

Reminded that such a beautiful mess needs to be treated with care

Spot cleaned by hand

Brightened up by those wide eyes

A very gentle cleaning seeing those tiny fingers on my chest



It’s a rite of passage

The music wakes you and instantly you wish you could have slept through it

If you don’t leave your room now your mom will be in there any minute doing it for you

Throwing you into the load of refreshing your home

If you stay on top of the mess there’s not much to do

Sloshing around and sudsing down

Before you know it’s you waking your little ones up to shuffle around the home you’ve made



If I could choose my sisters I’d choose these joyous headaches every time.

The first babies I raised

The people I’d go to war for

Yeah they work my nerves but even a global cooties outbreak couldn’t keep me from sharing space with them

Your cooties are my cooties

Teach me the TikTok let’s shake our booties


Wash spin repeat

Goes life and all its memories

This article appeared in the Spring 2023 issue of In Dance.

Lamisha Duree, artistically known as Mishimama, is a multi-dimensional artist born and raised in the Bay Area who lives by her motto, “Hella into art. Hella figuring out my own.”