Aziza Barnes’s “Alleyway” speaks with curiosity and conviction about the versatility of the conscious, even when the body cannot follow the same adaptability. Barnes demonstrates the restraint between mind and body through the prosaic poem’s form. Poetic features stand in to explore the contingency of the mind, which teeter between rejection or acceptance of the body’s limits, leaving the prosaic form to symbolize the body’s limitations. Aziza Barnes’s speaker is transparent in their criticism of themselves:
As fresh garbage is. As dirt sucked out of a fingernail. As a wall clean of prostitutes. When I am this I am at the mercy of my nakedness.