Buriden’s Ass is a somewhat troubled philosophical thought experiment intended to highlight the deficiency of reason. The hypothesis is that if a hungry ass were placed before two identical bales of hay, it would starve to death for lack of a good reason to choose one bale over the other.
We stopped a glance at each other, passed hungry for acknowledgement we refused to offer. Two people pretending not to see each other in passing separate the way the Common Snowdrop breaks a path in winter. Impervious to cold, its blossom bends to the bone-white earth that calls it downward, in one unwavering moan. And the bell of petals droops, then dies like hope in isolation, in an exercise of dignity or indiscretion: two people pretending not to see each other are just such solitary imprecision. You know that Buriden’s ass starves of indecision. But we are smarter than that, fat with facts and the knowledge that by turning away, quickly away no one will call our passing hunger.