The circus clown attempts to tell the acrobat / trapeze woman that he loves her and how it occured that the lion tamer found her having sex with the strong man. Although, the clown was
hurt by the trapeze girl, the lion tamer over re-acted and was killed because he attempted too elaborate a feat with a whole pride of lions. Mostly, a love story that captures the mixed emotions when love and passion are not reciprocated and how easily it can go so wrong when emotions are high.
This short story is included in the 2010 Best American Short Stories anthology.
It is written in 1st person POV and past tense.
No one is given a name but are referred to by their talent, lion tamer, clown, strong man, and trapeze girl. The setting is evocative of a traveling circus. Beautiful new girl in the big top who never uses a net, not even for practice, helps men become their best as they want to impress and probably fall in love; however, eventually someone is hurt and men over react.
It is not clear how long far into the future the story is being told to the trapeze girl but the title leads us to believe the clown has made several attempts.