In the room the cardinals come and go

Watched by Michelangelo.

Preceding Bergoglio:

Simplicius and Symmachus

Pelagius, Sisinnius

Liberius, Hilarius.

(That’s not a joke.) Gelasius.

(Or Saint Pistachio.)


Five of them were Sixtuses

Six of them were Pauls

Sixteen Benedictuses

Hid secrets in these walls.


A lot of them were Innocent

Of what, they didn’t say.

And quite a few were Pius.

They’d close their eyes and pray.


For on this Rock He built his Church

To stand against upheaval

A fortress safe upon its perch

For Rocks can see no evil.


And when a Pope at last departs

A new one rearranges

The Sistine Chapel’s seating charts

But nothing ever changes.