Missed Connection

Stephanie Eisler Vance
2 min readApr 2, 2024


Eyes from across the subway car

This is too cliché to be happening

But it happens, right?

Two people under fluorescent light

Love, or something, at first sight

Anything’s possible, right?

Possibility is the only word I know

The tip of my tongue heavy with so much of the same thing

I can’t even open my mouth

To meet the eyes reaching for mine across this subway car

Hunger pangs, competing survival instincts

14th Street comes, I’m gone

Wondering if I just did a whole thing all by myself

See, my missed chances never existed in the first place

I am sure I have fallen victim again to my own imagination,

These machinations boring a tunnel of love

Into which I will fall, out of which I cannot climb

With this repetition, this recursion I bore myself

Can see their glassy eyes roll back

god, not this again

I know, dude, I’m not happy about it either

Sheer bad luck to be cursed with these sensitivities

These proclivities to magnify molehills

Enhance a glance until it’s just blurred pixels

Or squeeze it down until it fits inside my cheek

So I can suck on it every time a craving kicks in

I am cursed with an affliction such that, love?

I know her, I get down with her, but do I actually enjoy her?

Is the only thing I’ve ever wanted the only thing I can’t stand?

Who cares about compatibility, love is incompatible with me.

So I savor these fictions

There is safety in the lie

In these maybe-not-even-missed connections

In the breaking of my own heart

But a curse is also a gift, a vision