Oregon Writing Project: What Color Are You? Poem

As I do my homework to prepare for the Summer Institute of the Oregon Writing Project at Willamette University, I thought I'd post my attempts here. I'm pretty pleased with this one. Today's prompt:

Assignment #12
What color are you? Write a poem using similes and metaphors to compare you to colors.

What Color Am I?

“The thoroughly well-informed man--that is the modern ideal. And the mind of the thoroughly well-informed man is a dreadful thing. It is like a bric-a-brac shop, all monsters and dust, with everything priced above its proper value.”

-Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray

There is a small bookshop in my town,
Where tall shelves, eight feet high
Stand shoulder to shoulder, leaning over thin aisles
And each is nine months and two weeks pregnant with books.

Used, tattered, their spines lined from over-reading
Pages dog-eared, dust jackets missing,
Cardboard peeking through the corners of the covers
Or paperbacks, bent by back pockets
Their artwork lined and faded.

In this shop a book is hiding.
From some Paleozoic era before glossy jackets
It’s covered in fabric.
Most was once bright red, now sickly pink
But the spine was gray, is gray, shall be gray.
The pages were once white, now yellowed.

Outside, I am the colors of that book
Pale pink and yellowed-white and gray
But inside, in the darkness of the closed cover
I am monsters and romance and heroes and tragedy
Or a biography of a forgotten poet,
Or do-it-yourself carpentry projects,
Or a collection of essays on semiotics and post-modernism.
Perhaps there are full color photographs.

A cover does not know the colors of its pages
And when I think I am black and white
Symbols ordered into words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters
I fear
A rainbow of Greek and Sanskrit
Straining to describe colors that have not been named.